This week we were at the Ontario Pork Congress in Canada.
Ontario is the most populous province in Canada with approximately 300,000 sows.
The producer base is diverse with only two producers with over 10,000 sows.
Most of the pig production is operated by families who have a land base and feed their swine with their own crops.
There are contract-finishing units but they are operated by family farms mostly working with other family farms.
The families that operate most of the sow farms are to a very large extent of Dutch heritage. Good livestock people who like pigs, grow crops, and own land.
The agriculture industry in Ontario is prosperous. Farmland ranges from $10 – 20, 000 per acre. The appreciation of farmland values and livestock success has been a good business. This wealth has created a buffer to the ups and downs of the hog cycle.
This week at the Ontario Pork Congress, we talked to many people. Issues were:
How low will hogs get this fall? Next year?
Will there be enough shackle space?
Will Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) be rescinded by the US?
Since Quality Packers in Ontario went bankrupt, Ontario has been short shackle space. 25% of production is moving 500 miles to get harvested. Good for truckers bad for producers. The lack of packer space almost guarantees no expansion in Ontario.
When the new harvest plant in Michigan opens what will that do? If COOL is gone US Eastern corn belt packers will become buyers for some Ontario hogs. More buyers is never bad for sellers.
At the Ontario Pork Congress, producers were mostly upbeat. Last year was their most profitable ever. Upbeat but wary of future markets. Most have been survivors of numerous hog cycles. They have seen what happened to their neighbours. Swine production is not for the faint hearted.
This week Genesus signed a co-operation agreement with Cofco – China’s largest Agri-business. Cofco which will soon reach 200,000 sows in production will import from Genesus several Boeing 747 charters of Genesus Purebred registered swine to stock Cofco’s nucleus and multiplication system. It will be the largest importation of swine breeding stock ever to China. The Cofco – Genesus agreement also includes jointly selling and marketing Genesus genetics throughout China. The co–operation is a result of a five-year relationship with Cofco, which has included breeding stock, genetic management, and production support.
All of us at Genesus are very proud to have the opportunity to work with Cofco, a world leading agri-business as they continue to grow their swine and meat business.
In 2014, Genesus lead the Global suppliers with 36% of all swine breeding stock imported to China.