As global leaders in environmental stewardship and sustainability, Manitoba hog farmers are proud of their operations. They are committed to ensuring they do the right thing, following strict rules and regulations, to protect the environment. Through technological advances and the implementation of best practices, every kilogram of pork raised today requires 40% less water, 33% less feed, 59% less land, and produces 35% fewer carbon emissions than over the last 50 years. These are trends Manitoba’s hog farmers are continually working to improve. Hog farmers also optimize the benefits of their hog manure – an example of nutrient recycling at its best.
Hog manure is a valuable organic fertilizer that has been used by farmers for over 10,000 years to help build and maintain soil health. Using manure as fertilizer helps recycle key nutrients, creating healthier soils and better crops. Over 90% of manure is injected beneath the surface of the soil. This minimizes the potential for runoff, reduces odour and greenhouse gas emissions, and provides organic fertilizer to plant roots where crops can best utilize the nutrients. Hog manure is of particular benefit to growers who farm near hog operations since the cost of transport is significantly reduced. This helps to make pork more affordable for consumers, who all too often bear the brunt of increased production costs.
Over the last two years, the ability to ship and receive essential goods across supply chains has been compromised. More recently, there was concern for prairie crop farmers as to if and when they would receive fertilizer needed for the spring planting season. Imported and non-renewable fertilizer must be shipped in by rail or truck, which in today’s marketplace, adds to already high production costs. Not to mention, the price of synthetic fertilizers themselves are forecast to skyrocket due to the war in Ukraine. Using natural fertilizers like hog manure makes good economic sense – its availability locally helps spur economic growth and support for rural Manitoba communities.
The use of manure is highly regulated. Hog farmers work with professional agrologists who assist them in making decisions regarding their environmental impacts. They also follow carefully developed, government-approved manure management plans. Hog farmers and the entire hog sector regularly invest in environmental research, adopt new and emerging nutrient management methods, new technologies and best management practices to further lessen hog farming’s environmental footprint. As the global trade in fertilizer is further disrupted, hog manure remains a sustainable option close to home.
Manitoba hog farmers have made significant progress in protecting our natural resources over the past decades. By combining strict environmental regulations, proven scientific methods and third-party expertise, hog farmers are stewards of the land focused on safeguarding natural resources for future generations.
To learn more, visit manitobapork.com/environment