By Bruce Cochrane
Manitoba Pork is hopeful the first applications for permits to build new or expand existing hog barns under a new pilot project will come in this fall.
In April the Manitoba government approved the "Pig Production Special Pilot Project Evaluation Protocol" under which pork producers can apply to build new or expand existing swine barns.
Mike Teillet, the manager of sustainable development programs with Manitoba Pork, told those attending Manitoba Pork's 2015 fall producer meetings, since there have been almost no barns built in the last 6 or 7 years in Manitoba, production has fallen and the Maple Leaf plant in Brandon in particular has seen a shortage of pigs so it was critical to get those pig numbers back up.
Mike Teillet-Manitoba Pork:
There was always a long list of regulatory requirements in order to construct a barn and certainly in order to operate a hog farm in Manitoba.
Under the new protocol, the new pilot project, we agreed to a number of different things in order to allow barns to be built, that's over and above the existing requirements.
They include new soil phosphorus limits of 60 parts per million.
It includes manure having to be injected or incorporated within 48 hours.
One of the things required was that no new barn construction could occur into a couple of municipalities, that's Hanover and La Broquerie.
There could be new barn construction and expansion west of the Red River.
East of the Red River, other than those 2 municipalities, were allowed to expand but not build new.
There are some other requirements but those are some of the major ones.
Teillet says since April there have been a number of enquires but, so far, there have been no applications for permits but the expectation is that the first applications under the new protocol will come in this fall.
Anyone interested in building or expanding a hog barn under the protocol is encouraged to contact Manitoba Pork for more information.