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Ontario Pork Industry Profile: Facts & Figures 
January 2007

In General:
  • 3,100 pork producers in Ontario marketed 5.21 million hogs in 2006, approximately 5% fewer than 2005.
  • Ontario's pork industry contributed $4.7 billion and 33,000 jobs from "farm to fork" to the provincial economy in 2006.

Statistics Canada numbers for Oct 1, 2005:

  • 14.1 million pigs in Canada
  • 3.5 million pigs in Ontario (431,100 breeding stock, 10,100 boars, 421,000 sows & gilts)

Market Hog Prices:

  • Total value of sales for market hogs in 2006 was $695 million, down $163 million (19.3 %) from a year ago
  • The average market hog base price was $132/100kg dressed weight.
  • Average pool price was $129 per 100 kg, down $19 from 2005; Average pool plus price was $131, down $18 from 2005; Average contract price was $132, down $18 over 2005.

North American & Export Markets:

  • Ontario's share of the North American hog market was 3.6%.
  • Ontario exported 1.3 million weanling pigs (pigs weighing less than 50 kg).
  • Ontario meat processors handled 79.1% of all hog sales; while U.S. purchased 10.5% and Quebec 10.4%.
  • Canada imported 106.8 million kg of pork, up 5.6% from 2005. Canada exported 1,016 million kg of pork, steady with 2005.
  • The U.S. was our major pork export market with a 37% share, Japan at 28%, Mexico 6.1%, China 4.5%, & other countries 24%.

About Ontario's Pork Producers:

  • 44% of Ontario's pork producers market less than 500 hogs per year.
  • Pork producer numbers, like all farm numbers, have continually declined, down by 85% from the highest number of 20,354 pork producers in 1979.
  • The largest numbers of producers market between 500 and 3000 hogs per year. This is not surprising, as today's farmers tend to specialize in one commodity, rather than the mixed farming of the past.
  • Over 98% of Canada's farms are still family owned and operated. Ontario's swine industry remains dominated by the family farm. The diversity of the 3,100 producers is their strength, but also makes it hard to describe "average" or "typical" farms.
Economic Contributions:
  • Estimated total value of sales from Ontario hogs for 2004 was $875 million
  • Ontario’s pork industry as a whole contributed $6.1 billion and 42,000 jobs to the provincial economy in 2004.
  • 1 in 7 jobs in Canada are in the agri-food sector.*
Put things into perspective…The Nutrient Cycle
  • Pigs produce manure. Manure is spread on the land to grow crops. Pigs eat the crops, and the cycle continues. Our goal is to manage that cycle properly by matching up the amount of manure and fertilizer to what the crop requires.
  • Manure contains three major nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and also adds valuable organic matter to the soil.
  • Ron Fleming, a researcher at Ridgetown College/University of Guelph, completed a 12-month project in 1999 where he measured the amount of manure produced by hogs on 21 different farms, "The Average manure production for the wet/dry feeder barns was 3.24 liters per day and for the dry feeder barns was 4.03 liters (approximately 1 gallon) per day per hog." This number increases to 7.1 liters per day for dry feeder barns, when spilled water and feed is added.
    Manure Production in Ontario

By Ken McEwan - Ridgetown College, University of Guelph
Contrary to common belief, Ontario's manure production is actually decreasing. Between 1986 and 1996, the estimated volume dropped from 33.4 billion litres, to 30.9 billion, a decline of 7.5%. Cattle produced 63% of total manure volume, swine 31% and poultry 6%.

Table 1 highlights the fact that even in counties such as Perth, with high livestock numbers, only 30% of the total tillable area receives manure application - either solid or liquid. For Ontario as a whole, the amount of tillable land receiving manure is 18.9%. On a per acre basis, 30.9 million litres applied to 9.6 million tillable acres represents a modest application rate of 3200 litres per acre.

Table 1. Tillable Acreage and Application of Liquid and Solid Manure in Six Counties or Regions of Ontario

Area Name

Total Tillable Area (Acres)

Area Under Liquid Manure (% of Tillable Land)

Area Under Solid Manure (% of Tillable Land)

























  • Ron Fleming's research included drinking water meter readings taken daily in each of 21 barns. He reported that, "The average water requirement for the wet/dry feeder barns was 5.54 liters per pig per day, which was significantly less than the 7.92 L/pig/day average for the dry feeder barns."
  • Water is not lost on the farm, but rather 'recycled' as nature intended for all creatures, as part of the water cycle.
  • The average Canadian household, however, uses 68 gallons (306 litres) of clean water per day. (All of this water requires treatment)
  • Over 98% of Canada’s farms are family owned and operated.*
  • Less than 3% of Canadians are farmers.*

* Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1996.


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Last Updated September 11, 2007
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