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Letters – for Jul. 21, 2011

I’m writing in response to a letter in your July 14 edition of theManitoba Co-operator.The letter was headlined as “It still comes back to hogs.”

I am saddened and disheartened at the shots people take at the beleaguered hog industry. The person who wrote that particular letter should do a little homework. Right now, the hog industry is the most, and will continue to be the most regulated agricultural industry.

The writer had a few misconceptions about the application of hog manure, such as phosphate buildup, which she stated is not regulated until it reaches an astounding 276 pounds an acre. Actually it’s more like 115 lbs. per acre. On a soil test sheet, it would show up as 60 ppm. Also, when the soil test reaches that level, we are allowed to apply not double what a crop uses in one year, which is what she stated, but only what a crop uses in one year.

Secondly, the application of manure in winter is illegal if the barn is larger than 300 sows – and even those barns are not allowed to do so after 2013.

Thirdly, why would any livestock owner continuously overapply free fertilizer? When’s the last time anybody checked fertilizer prices? Phosphate was close to $750 per tonne, urea around the $550-per-tonne mark the last time I checked. It simply doesn’t make economic sense to overapply.

I am proud to say that my family is the owner and operator of a fairly large hog barn. We follow all rules and regulations (and believe me there are many) and have been doing so since building the barn. Unfortunately, with each new regulation comes an added cost – to the point where it’s almost not profitable to have hogs anymore – even with current high prices. I’m sorry to say, with uneducated opinions like that writer had,(the current government has the same opinion) things will certainly not get better. Too bad she can’t come work on our farm for a year (and the current government leaders too). I think it’s safe to say they would leave in a different state of mind.

Thank you Brad Waldner

Marquette, Man. reduced if we lose the CWB bargaining agency and thus buyers wield more power to set their price where they like. This will cost us.

This is a time to vote, and with wisdom, keep the CWB.

This is a time for clarity, not a wait-and-see attitude. The prospect of wide price variation from one day to the next does not speak to a farmer’s selling skills or genius, but to fate and to fate alone. What actions are you taking that can influence increased market value? Individually, our only market tool for this is withholding crop or shortage of crop – neither of which earn us much value. (It also increases storage costs).

All our experience as farmers should count in the analysis of the CWB benefit to us. So why would someone propose that we should not have a CWB? Because they speak for grain traders and dealers who would increase their take of our revenue? Try to sell hogs or cattle and pick the “right” time. It becomes a matter of luck. So Ritz’s answer is for us to use luck to our benefit – not much strength or stability with luck.

Remember that when the cooperative elevators were started they had no facilities. After only one year of using others’ facilities the farmers decided that is enough of that and started to build their own elevators and terminals to avoid the costs of others’ mistakes.

We do not need a bungling Ritz to cause us to lose our CWB.

Ian L. Robson Deleau, Man.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

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