By Victoria Seip Eisses
Ontario – Key Account Manager,
Over the last few years, we as a team have tried to bring new and easy ways to track data on-farm to our customers across the country. Data is important for agricultural business operations because it allows for accurate decisions to be made in real-time, not waiting until the end of a group of pigs. In tough times like these, accuracy is important because we need to make sure we are farming smart by fine tuning areas of production in order to save cost and increase efficiency. Maximizing feed conversion, growth and efficiency is critical in order to find cost savings in day-to-day production.
Several dozens of our customers in Western Canada have readily utilized the PigScale which is an in-pen scale taking voluntary pig weights to view both daily, weekly and batch trends in order to make management decisions such as changing feeding regimes, feed time changes, vaccination times etc. In the east we are also in the preliminary stage of testing out a Gestal nursery feeder to go along with these in pen scales in order to capture real time feed data as well in order to really have full oversight of either nursery or finishing production by measuring feed per pig, feed conversion and cost.
On April 1st, 2023 the Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) governments launched a 5-year, 3.5 billion program to strengthen Canadian competitiveness, innovation and resiliency in the Agriculture sector. $2 billion dollars was from FPT cost shared initiatives and $1 billon in federal activities and programs.
The Federally funded programs fall under three key areas. The first is Growing Trade and Expanding Markets through expanding exports, seizing new market opportunities and building capacity and support within the sector. Second, by providing Innovative and Sustainable Growth of the Sector through innovation and science, and last Supporting Diversity and a Dynamic, Evolving Sector through their AgriDiversity and AgriAssurance Program. A link to these programs and information on eligibility and application process for federal funding can be found at: www.agriculture.canada.ca/en/department/initiatives/sustainablecanadian-agricultural-partnership
The $2 billion FPT cost-shared programs are administrated by each of the provinces. Each of the Provinces support the vision of The Guelph Statement” with the 5 key priorities of; Tackling climate change and environmental protection; Have continued and targeted investments in science, research and innovation; Support sustainable and economic agricultural growth by helping Canadian businesses to meet domestic and global marketplace challenges; Building sector capacity and growth in value added agri-food and agri-products, and ; Enhancing resiliency to anticipate, mitigate and respond to risks.
Each of the provinces will control the rollout timing, opportunities and administration of their programs separately. Some may elect to release all their projects at once, while others, such as Ontario, are offering new opportunities every couple of months.
Currently in Ontario there are two programs open. They are the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, which helps eligible agri-food businesses and industry organizations to expand markets of Ontario Food Products, and the second program is under the Promoting Agriculture and Food Careers Initiative to fund support for agricultural societies to promote agrifood careers. There are two upcoming funding opportunities not released yet. One is the meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative and the second is the Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative to enhance animal health and welfare, plant health and food safety in their sector. More about these Ontario funding opportunities can be found at: www.ontario.ca/page/sustainable-canadian-agricultural-partnership
For more information on programs that are available, please contact Bruce Schumann, Director, Sustainability, Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance.
This article was written for the Fall 2023 Eastern Swine Grist. To read the whole Swine Grist, click the button below.