Summer 2023 – Editorial

The Summer 2023 edition of the Canadian Hog Journal is here!

Last month, I was privileged to attend World Pork Expo for the first time. As a media partner for the event, I did my best to represent our country and producers well, making plenty of positive connections and spreading the good word about everything happening on this side of the border. Coverage can be found in this edition, along with my thoughts on why events like these cannot be overlooked in terms of industry development, including lessons learned.

In the Spring 2023 edition, I published a lengthy piece that was critical of food retailers. In it, I took aim at value chain inequities, which I think are at the heart of many of the issues in the industry today. But with that in mind, it’s important that finding solutions does not become a total blame game. Recently, regional retailers in western Canada stepped up to promote pork, and it was an excellent example of collaboration that ultimately looks good for consumers and benefits many stakeholders.

Much noise is made about climate change resiliency and who is best positioned to lead the way in this area, but there’s no doubt that the lack of financial support is where a lot of the good intentions drift into the realm of fantasy. Not so with RBC – Canada’s oldest bank – which is putting its money where its mouth is, to encourage farmers to adapt. RBC president Dave McKay shares the news.

Speaking of money (don’t we always?), a hybrid rye feeding trial with a Hutterite colony has shown cost savings for sows and nursing pigs, while maintaining pig performance. U.S.-based KWS Cereals has reported on their findings.

While Swine Innovation Porc (SIP) research has long been a fixture in this magazine, general manager Daniel Ramage is working on an entire series of Cluster 3 coverage that will continue to appear here in coming editions. In this one, you can find stories on projects related to pork quality grading and a pig gut health enzyme.

In other research, the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) is critical to the future of pig health, including the use of intrauterine immunizations. And work by Cargill is showing how heat stress on pigs is not just a summer problem but one that has a ripple effect throughout the year.

On the biosecurity front, a digital application by Farm Health Guardian is making managing farm visits easier to record through GPS technology, which improves upon paper-based documentation that can be an unwanted hassle.

Whatever makes farming easier is, naturally, preferrable, but it’s important not to cut corners where it truly counts: with your safety. AgSafe Alberta has been campaigning for better awareness and planning, and for good reason. An Alberta producer’s dash with disaster demonstrates why.

Want to amplify your voice and make your thoughts known? Whether as a ‘letter to the editor’ in an upcoming edition, or a conversation on social media, I know there are many knowledgeable people across this sector, and your opinions matter. If you’d like to see your words published, don’t hesitate to reach out to or tag the Canadian Hog Journal on Facebook and Twitter (@HogJournal).