Manitoba Pork Production. The story of Manitoba's pork industry through the words of producers and some of the people who work with them. From You Tube
In 1995 about 16 million pigs were sent to market from about 10 000 farms. Production increased to just under 23 million in 2004, yielding $4.25 billion in farm cash receipts (11.6% of the national total). Canada exported 8.5 million pigs in 2004, which is almost 50% more than in 2002. This places Canada third among pig exporting countries with 21.8% of world exports, after the EU with over 30% and the US with just over 22%.
Pig farms vary from large, specialized operations, which market several thousand animals annually, to small mixed farms marketing 100 or less. There are 5 main swine breeds in Canada. Cross-breeding programs are recommended because they result in larger litters of more vigorous pigs, and yield market animals that grow faster and more efficiently.
A breeding sow or boar requires about 1 t of feed annually. The market pig converts feed to bodyweight gain with an efficiency of about 3:1; that is, more efficiently than BEEF CATTLE but less efficiently than broiler chickens (see POULTRY FARMING). The market animal (100 kg) typically yields about 80 kg of trimmed carcass, following slaughter and evisceration.
Carcass quality and price paid to the producer are determined by an index, measured by a government grader, which reflects lean meat yield. Slaughtered animals must be disease-free and are inspected by government veterinarians. Canadian pork is produced under a high-standard national Health of Animals program (see COMMODITY INSPECTION AND GRADING; FOOD LEGISLATION; VETERINARY MEDICINE). As a result, Canada is free of serious livestock diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and swine fever.
Since 1937, the industry has access to a uniform national testing system, the National Record of Performance Swine Testing Program. It provides producers with a basis for assessing their breeding stock using techniques such as ultrasonic recording of fat measurement in live animals. The program is now administered by the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement, with member organizations throughout the country.
Pig processing provides more jobs than cattle processing, since two-thirds of the meat is sold in processed rather than fresh form. The average Canadian consumes about 32 kg (carcass equivalent) of pig meat (pork, bacon, ham, sausages, etc) annually, compared to 32.5 kg for beef plus veal and 28.5 kg for poultry meat. Pork is now much leaner than it was in the past. Pork loin centre cut, the source of many chops and roasts, is 42% leaner than in 1987. All raw, fresh pork cuts, except spare ribs, qualify as lean when trimmed of visible fat, since they contain less than 10% fat. This reduction in fat content was achieved through improved breeding and feeding programs, a revised grading system that rewards pork producers for producing leaner meat, and better trimming of fat at the processor level and in grocery stores.
Pork provides many important nutrients that contribute to a well-balanced diet. It is a very high source of protein, containing each of the eight essential amino acids needed to build, repair and maintain body tissues. Pork is one of the best dietary sources of thiamin and a good source of other B vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Pork is also a good source of minerals, particularly iron and zinc. About half the iron in pork is heme iron - the most readily absorbed and digested type of dietary iron.
The Canadian Pork Council (established 1966) represents pig producers and is a good source of information on the industry and its products.
Author R. BLAIR
Links to Other Sites
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Online
An extensive information source about Canada's thriving agricultural sector and related issues, studies, and government programs. From Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
The latest statistics for Canada's hog farming and processing industry. From Statistics Canada.
7 swine flu myths you should know about
Quick facts about swine influenza (swine flu) from the CBC website.
Meat Cuts Manual
Your illustrated guide to well dressed beef, poultry and other animal products. From the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute
Check out this website for information and reports about current issues impacting on the productivity and competitiveness of Canada's agri-food sector.
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