BRANDON, Manitoba – The government of Canada announced May 23 that it will invest more than $200,000 (US$194,800) for two projects with the Manitoba Pork Council.

More than $150,000 (US$146,127) will go toward improving the air quality in swine barns by validating the use of an electrostatic space charge system (ESCS) in commercial swine and poultry operations, according to the government. Experiments will be conducted to verify the efficiency of the ESCS in removing dust and destroy pathogens that carry the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). The financial impact of the disease to the Canadian pork industry is an estimated $130 million (US$126.6 million) per year.

A second investment of more than $57,000 (US$55,528) will finance a comparative study of cropping systems to promote use of swine manure. The goal of the study is to help identify sustainable land-management practices that would lessen the environmental impact of the province’s farming practices.

"These are potentially valuable projects for hog producers in Manitoba. As more farmers move into liquid-solid separation of manure, it is important to increase our understanding of how we can better utilize the resulting products in an environmentally sound manner," said Karl Kynoch, chair of the Manitoba Pork Council. "As well, we are always looking for ways of improving air quality in barns and to find better disease-prevention techniques.

“We also need to meet the provincial government's regulatory process, and we believe these research projects can assist us in these goals," he said.