There’s still time for hog producers who might want to downsize their herds or exit the business to apply for federal funds to cull breeding hogs, the Canadian Pork Council said last week.
In a release Thursday, the council said that as of July 11, roughly 500 applications to the federal cull breeding swine program has been received, accounting for just under 113,000 breeding swine.
Hog producers are now applying for the third allocation of funds from the program, which reopened to producers from all provinces after May 21. The program had briefly closed to hog farmers from Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, where producers had committed animals well over the federal government’s target of a 10 per cent reduction in the Canadian breeding herd from Jan. 1, 2008 levels.
Applications must be sent no later than Aug. 31 in order to qualify for the program and will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Qualifying producers, subject to application approval, will receive $225 per breeding swine culled after April 14.
Out of Ottawa’s $50 million commitment, the program now has about $20 million available for new claims to cover transportation, euthanasia and disposal costs. Producers have 120 days from the time the application is received by the administrator to complete their cull and provide all required documentation.
Approved producers must not sell potentially eligible breeding stock through commercial channels after April 14, agree to depopulate an entire breeding barn and commit to not housing swine breeding stock in the same barn for three years.
Since mid-April, when the cull program got underway, the Saskatchewan, Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba governments have all announced funding to process some pork from the program for use by food banks in their provinces.