By Bruce Cochrane
Manitoba's pork producers are hoping a tentative agreement with the provincial government will end the moratorium on new swine barn construction or expansion in Manitoba.
In 2011 the Manitoba government restricted the construction or expansion of swine barns in the province.
Mike Teillet, the Manager of Sustainable Development Programs with Manitoba Pork, told those on hand yesterday for Manitoba Pork's 2014 annual general meeting, in large part because of the moratorium, the province's pork industry has been in a slow decline in the last two to three years resulting in a shortage of pigs for processing.
Mike Teillet-Manitoba Pork:
Since the moratorium was announced we have been negotiating with the government and we have reached a tentative agreement we believe with the government and it involves three different aspects.
One would be that any new barns built, would be required to inject manure, they would be required to have a multi-cell manure storage system and there would very likely be a limit on the total amount of phosphorus that could be allowed to accumulate on farm fields and we believe that number is going to be somewhere around 60 parts per million.
We always refer to the moratorium as a barn ban.
In reality we could theoretically have built new barns if we had added anaerobic digesters with the new barn but they are so expensive, in the million dollar plus range, that nobody has built new barns because of that.
This alternative of using a multi-cell lagoon system is a much much more reasonable and practical solution which will we believe allow us to build new barns.
Teillet stresses this is still a tentative agreement and final approval has not yet been received.