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Prairie Pork Producers Return to More Typical Feed Formulations

A partner with Polar Pork says an improved availability of locally grown feed grains has allowed western Canadian pork producers to return to more typical feed formulations.Feed represents the largest portion of the cost of raising pigs and a reduction in feed costs from the near record prices of one year ago has improved the profitability of pork production.

Florian Possberg, a partner with Polar Pork says a year ago we were looking at seven-dollar corn in the U.S. but that has fallen to between four and five dollars which makes a big difference.

Quote-Florian Possberg-Polar Pork:

In 2022 to 2023 we ended up feeding a lot of corn because barley was not widely available and quite high priced in relation to corn.This year however, even though we've had a relatively modest or poor crop of barley in the prairies, the availability appears to be quite a bit better and we're back feeding wheat and barley.

The Chinese were buying just about all the barley they could get their hands on from Canada and now they're sourcing some of their barley from places like Australia and so the export of barley and wheat have been somewhat subdued making the availability for our business viable again.We don't know how long it will last.

The supplies are not great.Parts of the prairies did have quite a pretty good barley crop.I know right around our Humboldt area here we were real lucky and got rain and we've got producers talking about a 100-acre barley crop.That's not the norm but there are pockets like that were the grain is much more available than the drought areas.

Possberg says producers are still losing money but with lower feed costs we have a lower break even and an opportunity to look forward to better profitability.

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