GFM Network News


Manitoba’s pork sector continues to grapple with many questions and few answers as it navigates the ‘new normal.’

Pork sector still facing uncertain landscape

The effects of market disruption from COVID-19 and plant closures has yet to dissipate, leaving many questions for the sector

The hog market is starting its rebound with news that previously plugged value chains are once again starting to move — but the sector has a long climb ahead. Bill Alford, general manager of Hams Marketing, noted that U.S. processors previously shut down due to COVID-19 are once again ramping up operations, although the backlog of market-ready hogs held

One human resources co-ordinator says some pork producers would soon be looking for international workers to fill vacancies in barns during seeding time.

Coronavirus causes challenges and opportunities for producers

Some temporary foreign workers capitalizing on changes to extend stays in Canada, one expert says

One pork industry expert says some hog farmers are finding new workers and extending the stay of temporary workers during the COVID-19 crisis. “Agriculture isn’t going away because of the pandemic,” said Janice Goldsborough, human resources and training co-ordinator with the Manitoba Pork Council. As a result, farms are able to take on some workers


Pork processors are grappling with social distancing and employees who are suddenly without childcare.

Pork sector looks for coronavirus answers

COVID-19: The pork sector’s labour- and human-intensive production system has added an extra challenge to maintaining the value chain

Andrew Dickson has had a busy few days. The general manager for the Manitoba Pork Council, Dickson has been on the phone, both dealing with his own organization’s steps towards social distancing and trying to deal with the looming concerns of the pork industry in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. For an industry like

Manitoba to pilot insurance program against hog disease risks

Pork council study backed with federal, provincial funds

“Private sector solutions” to manage financial risks caused by disease outbreaks on hog farms are on the drawing board in a new Manitoba-led pilot project that could go nationwide. Coming out of a Thursday morning meeting with hog producers in Winnipeg, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $482,158 from the AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) arm of

Local husbandry and veterinary bureau workers in protective suits disinfect a pig farm as a prevention measure for African swine fever, in Jinhua, Zhejiang province, China August 22, 2018.

Federal government confident in African swine fever outbreak response

Animal Health Canada is the new body that would help form a cohesive national response

Canada’s guard against African swine fever (ASF) may be getting a new player around the table. A potential outbreak of the virus that has decimated China’s hog industry — and criticisms from some circles that Canada’s federal response to potential disease outbreaks are fragmented and disorganized — has prompted the potential formation of what is


A panel of Manitoba Pork staff addressed issues of disease management, traceability and communication. 


Manitoba pork producers discuss PED, African swine fever plans

2019 was a ‘disappointing year’ for PED outbreaks after gains made in 2018

Disease management remains a baffling issue for pork producers and top of mind for the Manitoba Pork Council. “It’s been a disappointing year,” said MPC board chair George Matheson, citing 79 confirmed cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) this year. “What we’re doing just doesn’t seem to be working.” Disease prevention was front and centre

PED is a potentially devastating disease and can cause 80 to 100 per cent of piglet losses.

Precautions urged as PED outbreak enters fall manure-spreading season

Producers are getting ready to begin fall spreading, but some manure lagoons will need extra precautions as the province’s PED numbers climb

Manitoba’s latest battle with PED has put a new focus on biosecurity as fall manure spreading gets underway. The province suffered another spate of PED confirmations this month. The Chief Veterinary Office (CVO) had confirmed 78 cases as of Sept. 20, with the last confirmed Sept. 13. Eight of those cases have been added since

Manitoba hog producers outside the core PEDv area need to reconsider their biosecurity measures to keep the disease at bay.

No rolling the dice on PED says Manitoba Pork Council

PEDv has broken into both central and northeastern Manitoba, and barns in newly impacted areas might not be ready for the threat

Barns dodging PED might owe that to luck rather than robust bio­security. Andrew Dickson, the Manitoba Pork Council’s general manager, warns that some barns outside southeast Manitoba will need to heighten their guard if they hope to repel a serious risk of the disease. “We’ve got odd stories of people saying, ‘Well I’ve never got


The Manitoba Pork Council is urging producers to buy into the program, despite the increased cost.

PigTRACE price to go up

Tag prices will go up 20 cents for small tags and 35 cents for large tags as of Aug. 1

Hog producers will have to pay more for traceability in the near future. Canada’s PigTRACE program will be raising ear tag prices as of Aug. 1. [Click here for the price list as of Aug. 1]  Prices will go up 20 cents for every small ear tag and 35 cents for every large ear tag,

Barbecued pork.

Meat sector braces after halt to China trade

Livestock producers and meat processors are still determining the impact as China turns off the tap on all Canadian meat


It’s hard to say how much damage has been done since China announced its sudden aversion to Canadian meat. “It’s a bit too soon to tell to get a real dollar figure on it, because it is a situation where, when we want to sell pork, we’re trying to maximize the value of that product,”