Hog farmer wants borders closed to protect animals against virus

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Stewart is right to suggest this. Any hog producer knows that dealing with disease is an awful experience. Of course there is the possibilty it can be seen as anti-trade, but hey, the US is not exactly innocent when it comes to anti-trade. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, On

Maybe Stewart would be willing to take this one step further and stop exports of pork and have the Canadian market filled by Canadian producers who raise Canadian pork . I guess the west would fill the market .
Also that may be a tad too close to SM for Pork !! That might be by far the Best " betterment of the industry " .

I'm not sure he would agree with that sentiment. Considering over 65% of our domestic production is exported, the devastating effect this strategy would have on farm numbers would likely outweigh the perceived benefit.

Imagine the pork industry cut by over 60% in order to supply only the domestic market. That would be a decrease in the "spin off" jobs and sales. There would be an expected increase in price for those remaining, but if consumption moves away from pork then the industry will have to cut back...consolidate and likely accept a price comparable to the alternative products.
The lucrative Chinese market would be unavailable as would all export markets. The industry would be stuck with supplying only what domestic markets want, any chance of exporting specific products for a higher price would be gone.
Sounds to me like the pork industry would be uncompetitive and would eventually shrink even more.
Yep that would be for the betterment of an industry, but not the pork industry!

l think its safe to say that nothing in the Pork Industry makes any sense right now.We are literally shut out of the US market and yet we are importing more US Pork than ever!l certainly wouldn't advise Supply Management at this point but something has to be done.l think Skinner has a good viable idea.

Imagine filling a market for a profit . If 60 % of the production in Canada is going for export then why is not Gov. support only limited to the 40 % that is produced for the domestic market ? Why should tax payers here be expected to subsidize some thing produced for export ? Subsidize some other countries food ! Compete to be the lowest cost producer ! That is a race to the bottom .

The pork industry has been saying for some time that we do not have enough production here to sustain the kill capacity we have and fear loosing one but yet we ship our cull sows and boars south of the border . Could those animals not be processed here ? Would that not make sense ? Would that not help keep the plants here busy ? Is meat not meat ? Is a sow or a boar not a pig like a market hog ? When you rely on exports for the majority of your market you have to live with the reality of a market being gone in a flash .

RMP is more an insurance plan than straight gov't support as if you don't pay premiums you can't collect. Like all programs the gov't helps fund it. As for exporting products and getting RMP on it is like that with everything from cars too electric power (with green energy promotion at high rates our province is paying $50 mil. some months to send power south),ethanol mandates,corn going too US ,wheat exports and the list goes on. How much has ethanol mandate , 20 % subsidy too auto companies to build plants, green energy,Daltom McGuinty ,ect. cost society? I am surprised that we farmers still get some pretty good support when you look at farmers net worth,we all like too eat from the trough but few want too pay there taxes-kg kimball

If there is a payout and it is not what pork figures is near enough you can bet your duff that they will be in begging for adhoc dollars and yet another buy out . Their industry has been built on gov support a low dollar and subsidies . They have not lived tough enough times yet to really buckle down and weather a financial storm .

Sure, I can see the SM and ethanol vultures circling the pork farmers now. Cut all this gov't support you refer to that pork is supposedly getting, you will not get rid of the pig farmers. They have seen more tough times and will still be there when SM is gone and ethanol learns to either fly on it's own or disappears due to the high cost to consumers/taxpayers of carrying both of them!

Why in the world would you think for a second Supply Management or the Ethanol industry would being trying to get rid of Pork farmers? We buy Ontario Pork often as we can. We did have a couple on our road and its unfortunate they couldn't make a go of it raising hogs but they are still there, they are still nice people and neighbours. l think they are actually making more money now renting their land out.l must say that l don't miss them spreading their liguid manure!
Dairy farmer in Perth.

Because I read the "hostile" (as you put it) emails on this website and I observe what goes on in Huron/Perth. In our municipality we still have about a dozen active hog farmers...and two dairy farmers.
Look around with your eyes open.

In Huron/Perth, it's almost always the two dairy farmers who are buying everything, even the land which is supposedly "not for sale". And yet people wonder why our best and brightest are leaving agriculture for greener pastures as far away as they can get from an industry which defends the ability of about 15,000 farmers to hold over 33 million consumers as economic hostages.
It never ceases to amaze me how farmers can farm for forty years with their eyes closed, and still be considered good farmers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I don,t blame people being pissed off when a few people are buying or getting greedier by the minute . It doesn,t matter if your an SM farmer or not its still sad to see that happening and they are the ones that get the handouts to upgrade their operations, where the small or smaller farm go it alone. I think that SM in milk is a great thing but the big guys got their hands into it and controlled all the happenings so there was no limits on size and the price just ballooned skyward which isn,t the best period. Big is Big and some people will say if your big you are a very smart and successful person , where do smart ends and greed takes over. There is lots of other occupations or companies that is protected and controls the consumers, take hydro , government, government workers, telephone , even gas to a certain extent . These are all what people need everyday to help make life nicer or easier. What happens when Walmart rolls into town and tries to make it a one store town and the people have to buy there is it alright because they do not have a sm board helping them. There is greed and there is GREED, you decide how much can the people take.

Someone told me once in the Business of farming you are either going ahead or your going backwards, a good farmer knows when he is doing which! if some of our young people are heading for "greener pastures" it might be the best move they ever made.The ones that stay will know soon enough if they made the right decision.

Of course the catch in that is the measurement of going ahead or back. Is expansion the measurement? Is debt repayment the measurement? Is an increased price received for your product the measurement? What one person perceives as moving ahead is sitting still to another. Just because one person makes a statement does not make it fact.

No,its wasn't meant to be taken as fact.l was just reponding to why our young people are leaving the farm,it is one thing to take over the family farm when it is very prosperous, its entirely different to take over a farm that is losing money hand over fist.That's probably what a young farmer has to identify first.

Our best and brightest immediately look beyond your argument to the structural problems, both legislative, and in the mind-set of farmers themselves. For example, why would any of our best and brightest be attracted to an industry which seems to see nothing wrong with legislation, whether it be supply management, ethanol, or even something else, which, all at the same time, allows some groups of farmers to simultaneously step on the toes of consumers and other farmers? Fortunately, our best and brightest are, unlike our present generation of farm leaders, completely able to see that present-day farm prosperity is more-strongly linked to untenable and unsustainable legislation than anything else.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I will say that many who are top in their class end up at home and move forward . All those below go and work for gov and craft up stuff that affects the rest of us and that they know little about .

Its easy to be creative if you are set up in a farming business that are booming and doesn,t have or had hard times. It takes more than just brains to succeed in farming or anything it also take a lot of luck to land that great job or business . There,s people out there that always end up with great jobs and never seems to keep one but keeps going from one to another .

Young people want more than just the roller-coaster ride that some farm industries offer.They don't want to be riding the wave of good prices 1 year and 5 or 6 years later begging their banker for money to stay afloat.Sure, they can whine and complain about how good the farmer down the road has it but does that really help?

Young people aren't so-much concerned about the roller-coaster effect of agriculture, but they are concerned about the structural inequalities which inevitably (and already do) cause discord and permanent financial inequality. This means, for example, young people have no desire, nor should they, to spend their entire lives waiting for supply management to implode, but, in the meantime, seeing supply management get everything, while they get nothing. Even in supply management, the best and brightest can see, especially now with caps for dairy quota prices, that their industry is going to implode sometime, and are quite-wisely leaving that sector to those who, because they have little, or no, sense of foresight, are more-gullible. Indeed, why, except out of a sense of mis-guided patriotism, (or the desire to be a permanent under-dog) or, in the case of supply management, a mis-placed sense of invincibility, would a bright young person consider agriculture?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

My sympathy to those young people that have spent their life waiting for Supply Management to "impode",what a waste! Appearently by the waiting list to get into DFO's new entrant program some of the best and brightest are exactly that!

You are only talking to those who are more concerned about what others think and not about what they need to do to farm .

Your observation may have been valid 40 years ago, but not now. Ever since 200% tariff barriers allowed SM5 to become economic bullies in the farm community, and ever since ethanol gave corn farmers the same false sense of entitlement and security, our best and brightest, particularly in the last half-dozen years, have been having well-deserved second thoughts about having anything to do with an industry which is, all at the same time, so-dysfunctional, so-narcissistic, so-patronizing to consumers, and so-much in a self-delusional bubble about living on borrowed time.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

You did work for FCC and taught at one time so yes you are in part correct . I will say though that it is still happening and not just in SM and any one who is over extended with your percieved ethanol price well I think the markets look after that right ? Just like some one to call out others while taking the price !

I'm well-aware that SM5 is artificially propping up the value of my land and that ethanol is artificially propping up my income - therefore, I'm also well-aware that I need to be using this "window" to pay down debt rather than expand, and that's exactly what I am doing. In addition, my 23-year-old son is, thanks to his understanding of economics obtained, in part, because he's long-been a subscriber to the Economist, also well-aware that agriculture is in a bubble, and, therefore, obtained a degree in chemical engineering which guarantees him a well-paying and interesting career. I've told him that if/when Canadian agriculture stops being so bone-stupid about the next generation of farmers, I'll give him a call to see if he's interested in buying some land from a bankrupt dairy or poultry farmer.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

"Just like some one to call out others while taking the price !"
Maybe you could explain how one person could take a discount at the elevator because they don't agree with gov't ethanol mandates. How much less would it be? Would they also expect to pay less than the inflated price for inputs?
Get you head out of the sand.
When the gov't steps in and screws things up, it takes the whole industry with it...like it or not.

A truly-good farmer knows when he/she is being forced into a second-class status solely because he/she is at an absolute disadvantage to someone who enjoys the benefit of 200% tariff barriers. As long as farm leaders continue to delude themselves into thinking there's nothing wrong with legislation (whether it be supply management, ethanol, or something else) which allows some farmers to step simultaneously on the toes of consumers and other farmers, agriculture will continue to be one of the most dysfunctional industries in the country.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

As a cash cropper and pork producer I can easily and honestly say that crop related subsidies have been many times more than the livestock side ever collected . It makes hard too carry n intelligent debate when you don't publish your occupation and name. If the pork buy out was an issue maybe the pork producers should have just got the same dollars that was put into ethanol. Remember around '06 all those tractors on 401 protesting "cheap grain " and gov't making a grains and oil seeds payment and excluding all crops grown for feed and deducting protein purchases from livestock guys cash sales . Provide some numbers and facts for your allegations-kg kimball

Mr. Kimball makes some good points. In addition I will provide some numbers that many seem to ignore. Member countries of the OECD reported lower ag subsidies in general in recent years. Australia and New Zealand are the lowest at 1-3%, US at 9%, EU at 20 percent and Canada at 16%. Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Norway are high, in the 50% range. The OECD also reported that in Canada the milk, poultry and egg sectors continue to recieve the highest government price support. The OECD recognizes SM as a consumer subsidy. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

The overall "average" of commodity price support subsidies is a bit of a smoke screen. To be clear one should really compare commodity by commodity with your nearest export competitor for each commodity. Note: the OECD even has a comparison between Canadian pork subsidies and U.S. Pork subsidies even the ones that are deemed so called whole farm or generally available to all commodities. See:

How dare you ! I read it here on the internet and OECD has it posted on their website so it must be true . Isn't it ?
I thought every thing on here and the www.web was always the truth and nothing but .

For the record, Raube brought up the issue of OECD subsidy comparisons. Now that rose colored glasses are being removed to do all the comparisons, it would seem someone’s conscience is in denial mode.

The silly anonymous jabs at pork producers is a little tiring considering that here in Canada there is more government support to the supply managed sector. So it is okay that a Canadian consumer subsidizes you more than the Canadian taxpayer subsidizes any of the other 90% of canadian agriculture? I would say its time for a 'haircut'. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Lets then start with Pork leading by example and not taking or asking for any gov support and let the market price be the price . Now that would be a task . How many would quit tomorrow .

Lets see you do the same. Your argument is empty. Reread my previous post. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

I won't be quitting, but I'm willing to forego gov't support if the SM and ethanol industry will too. As you say..."now that would be a task" trying to wean SM off the gov't teat!

Well I hate to tell you that both of you have some catching up to do then . I don't enroll in RMP , don't farm the hog and beef mail box for cheques , and I don't carry crop insurance . I go it on my own ! Which is more than either of you can say and as for your empty words yours are so empty I hear a sucking sound like some one looking for the Gov teat . Or was it a kissing sound ! I wonder who in agriculture it is ??

You guys almost crack me up ! Next Joker Please !!

If you are a farmer in Ontario, my boy, I would like to know what type you are because I am not sure I know any that do not benefit from some form of government protection. If you truly do "go it on your own", why hide your occupation and name? You should be proud to identify yourself. Raube Beuerman Dublin, ON

U.S. pork gets almost zip in support, so, to be totally open and transparent do the cross border subsidy comparison for each commodity. U.S. Pork gets almost zero support yet Canadian Pork gets $$$ NISA, $$$CAIS, $$$Agristability, $$$AgriInvest, $$$Buyouts, plus now the latest RMP support prices. By the way, can someone tell us what the supposedly openly transparent RMP pork and beef support price numbers are. Now do the same cross border comparison for each commodity.

NISA doesn't exist any longer, CAIS doesn't exist any longer Agristability is available to more than Pork as is AgriInvest and buyouts went to people getting out of pork...many of whom are now cash croppers.

CAIS is just the re-named bitting dog called Growing Forward . Although scaled down . So to say CAIS does not exist is maybe not totally true ! The Conservatives were going to do away with CAIS . If re-naming is all you have to do , well lets re-name some thing else .

You keep talking about Canadian Consumer Subsidy.The Consumer in this country will always have a choice when it comes to Supply Management products but Canadian Taxpayers do NOT when it comes to Pork Subsidies.The US House just voted down a 500 Billion Farm bill for that very reason,that it put too much onus on the US taxpayer to prop up Agriculture.

the canadian consumer has absolutely no choice when it comes to buying supply managed products. last time i checked i could only buy supply managed milk, eggs, chicken and turkey from the grocery store. could you please let me know where my choice is as canadian consumer other than not consuming these products?

Have you ever heard of Farmers Markets ? l can buy eggs next door for $2.00/dozen or l can go to the organic store and pay $8.00 or yes,the grocery store.We haven't bought a Turkey at a big name grocery store for probably over 15 years! We raise our own beef animal but if we didn't there is a grass-fed beef farmer not far away.Organic,regular homo,Skim,2%,1%,the choices in milk are almost unlimited,l'm not a big supporter of unpasteurized milk products, so yes that does limit it to the big grocery stores but even that is changing to smaller dairies and on-farm milk.Chicken is much the same and its not just for the rural folks,l have relatives in Toronto that try to get to farmers markets as often as they can.The thing is there are lots choices but the grocery store has its conveniences and for many of us that's important.

By the time you drive to the organic store and/or farmers markets, and/or on-farm outlets, and still haven't bought anywhere near what you need, and still have to go to the grocery store to buy, you've clogged up our roads, polluted the air, and spent more for fuel than you saved on food, and that's even before assigning any value to the extra time it took for you to do it. All of this traipsing around may appeal to people who assign no value to their time, and who have oodles of money to spend on gas, but it isn't sound economics, and it just doesn't work for those great-many consumers with limited time, and no ability to get to out-of-the-way retail outlets. That's why farmers markets, while always appealing in principle to idealistic farmers, and to members of the so-called "leisure class", really aren't a viable solution to much of anything.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

have you ever heard of running a farm and not having time to run around to all kinds of places to get food. i go once a week to the grocery store and expect them to have what i need.

l Agreed with you,Grocery stores are a convenience for many people but then l know people that drive by their own small town store to shop at the big box grocery store 30 miles away!Farmers Markets have become a big boom for a lot of farmers,small and big.They have become the difference between making and losing money on some farms and at the same time capitalized on the local food movement that is so big with urbanites.l have run a farm for over 35 years so l understand the time shortages,l'm just saying the choices are out there.

Farmers Markets and On Farm Market Sales are really more than ever a very small part of the gross sales of a farm any more . It could well be a slight second income for a wife ( and not knocking any one here ) or the kids for their college fund but I know of many that once the kids were done highschool the market closed because it was just not enough of the real gross farm percentage and if you had to hire and pay wages it was not worth the extra effort .

Also it would be nice to know how many dollars actually get get accounted for for income tax purposes and how much gets stashed as cash while the costs get fully written off against the books ?

Move to the states

You are arguing out of both sides of your mouth. Canadian consumers do not have a choice when it comes to supply managed choices in this country. If you want to make such foolish claims then prove it. When it comes to propping up agriculture no one is more guilty than the SM sector. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

The US Farm Bill was defeated because first and second term "Red State" Republicans defied their party and voted against what they saw as an expansion of food stamp programs. The defeat of the Farm Bill had nothing to do with primary agriculture, but had everything to do with food stamps and consumer subsidies.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

l beg to differ,it had everything to do with Agriculture! The Republicans that voted against it said it was too expensive(which it is) and it was the condescending Democrats that were against the 20 billion cut in food stamps.The food stamp program accounted for 75 Billion, so that still left almost 900 Billion in farm subsidies, that was too much for a lot of Republicans to vote for.

An article in the WSJ earlier this week made it abundantly clear, including an interview with a Republican legislator (a farmer) from Kansas, that food stamps had everything to do with the defeat of the Farm Bill. The WSJ then went on to speculate that this decline in support for what was supposed to be an automatic approval process by Republican legislators, especially the ones from farm states, could signal an erosion in agriculture's clout. The second-term Republican legislator indicated he'd had no "push-back' from his farm constituents about not passing the Bill. The real story is that junior Republicans now seem to not have any inclination to follow the wishes of their own leaders. In addition, farm state lawmakers on both sides (and even in Canada) seem to have great difficulty understanding that if they cut back the support for ethanol, fewer food stamps would need to be issued in the first place - thereby lessening the problem. But, as with all things agricultural, logic and good sense, never seem to be invited to the party

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

According to an article in this week's Economist (page 30) - "Taxpayers were on the hook for $1 trillion over a decade to pay for all this (The US Farm Bill), with a fifth going to farmers and four-fifths to cash-strapped families." This means that food stamps, and related consumer assistance, would account for $800 billion, a far-cry from the $75 billion which you claimed, while farmers would get $200 billion, which is a fraction of the $900 billion you claimed. I'm sorry, but your posting is so-far off the mark, and your claims so-wrong, I'm embarrassed, and somewhat mortified, that you would have ever made them. More to the point, you should tell us where you got your information, so that none of us will never trust that source again.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

as a dairy farmer friend of mine once told me "us dairy farmers would never be able to live with the stress you hog farmers do, we wouldn't know how to handle the ups and downs". give the supply managed guys five minutes in our shoes and they'll fall apart. if they ever loose quota wait we won't have to wait long to hear the whinning.

By all the empty new pigs barns one see's around the country l would say there are a lot of "former" Hog farmers that can't handle the up and down stress either.

According to Jim Long's commentary the only reason there are empty finishing barns is because there aren't enough pigs around...and the price is rising for the pigs available...and by the way he's in the business.

l'm sure Jim Long knows his business but there is a lot more to it than just not enough pigs around to fill those barns.l have a good example just down the road,a hog farmer were l was at his new Hog barn open house 9 or 10 years ago and now its sits empty and he rents the land.This scenario plays out all across Ont. and why not if you can get $250-300/acre.

That's the trouble with the Pork Industry Hierarchy, they worry too much about what happens abroad and not enough within our own country.The US has shown us again and again they care little about International trade protocol.

A much better option would be properly washed trucks. It will add cost but a disease outbreak will cost more. We send a significant amount of cull animals to the US and they have to move. There should be wash facility's at the kill plants

So why do we ship our culls south ? Should they not be made use of here at home as cheap meat ?
Just like us Canadians to send our throwbacks to some where else and then only wanting to fill the premium markets and complain there is no money made . Makes no sense to me that we ship so much else where to be processed . That is jobs and money towards the economy .

Cull sows and boars have to go south as we (Ontario) have no market or processors for any amount of culls .

Would it not be wise to have SM for pigs? Some would say no because the farmer would make money, so why not let the people of Canada pay to export.

If the govt of canada would have listened to Skinner in the first place this would not be a topic of discussion in canada... I think it makes great common sense to close down the borders and I think there should be set up truck washes at the borders ... to protect both sides of the border from this sort of thing that, also, would be common sense... a proper disinfecting station before either trucks move onto the opposite soil...

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