Pork producer’s power restored

© AgMedia Inc.

Wayne Bartels has found some money to pay his utility bill but his reprieve may be short-lived.

photo: Wayne Bartels


According to the story in the WO Farmer, if they liquidated everything, they would be $2 million in the hole. This means they are bankrupt. Yet FCC wants to lend them more money. How can this producer qualify as viable. If they can, maybe I should go borrow from FCC. This industry will never restructure if financial institutions continue to lend money to those producers that don't have a chance of repayment.

as a pork producer the bartels and their attitude and actions are very disturbing. they represent everything that is wrong with the industry. they talk as if it is their god given right to raise pigs, and that they are owed by the taxpayers for doing so. if they are such great managers why are they only now thinking about scaling back inventory, this is something that any responsible sow manager did two years ago already to cut their losses, bartels gambled and kept the same production and lost, that was their choice, last man standing mentality or just hoping for a big fat cheque from the government. if you have already lost 4 million as you claim, what are you holding on for? get out and apply for the transition funding, and cut you losses it is retroactive to april 1.
I also question their wisdom of getting into the sow business only 3 years ago when it was obvious that ontario already produced way more hogs than we could slauhter and it looked very likely that we would lose our largest packer creating a real shortage of hook space. at that time contracts were getting scaled back from 101% to 99% because of a surplus of animals.plus at the time there was already the very real threat of COOL keeping even more pigs here. must have been planning on a lot of other producers leaving the business. once again you bet the farm and lost.
while 30 pigs per sow is an impressive number, it is not the determining factor as to weather an operation will be profitable, cost of production is more important, getting to 30 pigs per sow is not cheap and will make you a high cost producer, I know, I have been there and stopped when i saw that it was not econmical, sure its nice for bragging rights at the coffe shop but not practical (plus a lot of these pigs that are put into the weaner barn likely should have been euthanised because they will never make a decent hog). I have heard bartels say it costs him $170 to produce a hog, if it costs you more than $145 to produce a hog you should not be in the business (the 10 year average price is $140, 145 if you take the last 3 years out)get out and let those who can do it cheaper continue.
it is time the bartels stoped blaming everyone else for their circumstance (government, ontrio pork, etc,) and took a long hard look in the mirror be a man and take responsibility for you actions. if you want to make a living off of the taxpayers (all the government bailouts he would like) than get a job as a bureaucrat and save the rest of us honest farmers your drama.
for the record I have been a pig farmer for 11 years and am actually 6 years younger than mr. bartels so by his standards I could also be considered a begining farmer (although I dont consider either of us to be) and went through a sizeable expansion five a half years ago so I know exactly the challenges facing the industry, but I have no one to blame for any bad business decisions but myself and that is where we are fundamentaly different.

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