ENVIRONMENT: What Ontario pork producers get for their research dollars

From manure storage construction and application to anaerobic digestion, research supported by Ontario Pork is helping producers to operate their business in a more environmentally sustainable manner



Ontario's pork producers have invested over $3.9 million dollars in environmental research in the last 10 years. So what do we get for it?

Most will remember the early 1990s, when it seemed like every application for a building permit was being challenged. Research served to prove to regulators and others that we were operating our businesses in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Environment: Ten steps to maintaining outstanding barn air quality Some tips to help you keep your mechanically ventilated barn

Air quality is becoming of increasing importance as we spend more time in our barns. Clean, fresh air also contributes greatly to the health of our pigs. The following 10 steps are intended to help you keep your mechanically ventilated barn an inviting place for you to work and for your pigs to grow.

1. Fresh air intakes servicing room air inlets. Although a ventilation system requires both intake and exhaust, the design and functioning of the building air intake and room air inlet is probably most critical. Openings must be provided to allow air into a building. These can be a louvered hole in the gable end of a barn, a screened slot in one or both soffits or an opening into a hallway.

Environment: How much do you know about the Clean Water Act?

Below are a list of milestones as this complex and little-understood piece of legislation wends its way towards implementation


The aim of Drinking Water Source Protection in Ontario, according to the environment ministry website, is to protect the quality and quantity of municipal drinking water sources, both surface water and groundwater – now and for future generations. Yet, although the Clean Water Act was passed in 2006, many people are unaware of its passage or of its implications.  

Environment: Farmers score well on performance-based nutrient management inspections

Though only a small percentage of farms with Nutrient Management Plans have been inspected by the Ministry of the Environment, most have scored well with 74 per cent exceeding provincial expectations


The Ministry of the Environment is taking a new approach to nutrient management inspections.

Trevor Robak, the divisional program specialist with the Ministry of the Environment, Southwestern Region, was instrumental in setting up this new inspection program and has been working with members of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition (OFEC) to create a process which focuses on education and outreach, rather than strictly enforcement.

Environment: How much do regulations cost hog farmers?

Some answers can be found in the George Morris Centre’s recent comparison of costs in the United States and across Canada.They can vary quite considerably, depending on the size and location of the operation

The George Morris Centre has just completed a detailed paper on the effect of environmental regulations on hog farming. This is the second part of my summary of the study, which covers costs of environmental compliance.

Here, the study identifies the set of environmental regulations affecting hog producers in Canada and the key cost elements of these regulations. On page 31 is a chart providing an overview of provincial and municipal regulations.