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Market Commentary: Friday, February 24/17


Hog futures are trading lower in a light-to-moderate range with front-month April futures steady at the moment, while deferred contract pressure is still developing through the end of the week. Short covering is being seen in nearby contracts with prices posting gains of 20 to 60 cents per cwt. The combination of sharp losses seen in cattle trade as well as firmness in pork cutout values at the end of the week has brought additional focus on unwinding price spreads between the cattle and hog complex which have developed earlier in the week.

Cash hog bids are called lower to finish the week. Cash prices are lower on the National and unreported on the Iowa Minnesota morning reports. The cutout value is higher at midday.

The Canadian dollar is trading lower against the US dollar.

For Friday, February 24, the Western Hog Exchange OlyWest price is $1.763/kg dressed and the OlyWest plus price is $1.773/kg dressed.  The OlyWest weekly price is $1.776/kg dressed and the OlyWest plus weekly price is $1.786/kg dressed.  This is Pat Matthezing reporting from the Western Hog Exchange.


January 16, 2017

Dear WHE Customer:


The Western Hog Exchange (WHE) continues to realize the challenges that hog producers face these days. In January, 2016, WHE made the commitment to reduce or eliminate the market levy per hog to $0.00 for WHE shareholders and $.50 per hog for non-shareholders. This was to provide some cost relief for our valued customers and was implemented for a 12 month period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

After review of the benefits that it has provided to our customers, the WHE Board of Directors has decided to extend the levy reduction from January 1st, 2017 to March 31st, 2017.

Although this decision will affect the WHE with no operational revenue for another three month period, we feel that WHE must do what we can to assist producers during this time and will reward WHE shareholders with no levy fee for the complete year of 2016 as well as the first three months of 2017.

The market levy fee will be reinstated starting April 1, 2017 at the same rate that it was in December 2015 before the market fee holiday.

The Western Hog Exchange would like to thank our customers for your loyalty and support.

Yours Sincerely,



Brent Moen

Chairman, Western Hog Exchange

WHE Staff Announcements

With many changes happening around us in the world, WHE also will see many changes in our own backyard in 2017. The first change of 2017 is upon us in the form of staffing changes at our head office.

WHE will be saying our goodbyes to Norm Provencal and Bill Mullen as they leave us to find other challenges in their lives. Both gentlemen have spent many years in our industry with a combined 69 years of service to the hog industry. They will be missed by our staff and our clients as they have been a key part of our WHE family for many, many years. We sincerely wish both guys all the best in their future endeavors.

We would also like to introduce Glen Kropp, who will be taking over Bill Mullen's role as the Manager of Producer Relations. Glen grew up on a farm just outside of Edmonton in Sherwood Park and spent many years operating a successful livestock operation with his father. We have been fortunate to have Glen in our office training for the last 3 weeks with Bill Mullen and have been very impressed with his efforts. Glen has indicated that he is looking forward to meeting all of the clients and partners of WHE in the near future.

WHE would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we move in to 2017.


Brent Bushell

General Manager

Western Hog Exchange

Cool Weather Transport

With cooler weather ahead of us, a reminder that precautions should be taken in the transportation of pigs. Pigs have little natural protection from the cold and suffer frostbite quickly.

Observe weather conditions and adjust ventilation accordingly. Too much cold air can cause frostbite but insufficient airflow in the box may result in suffocation.

Line the sides and floors of metal vehicle boxes with wooden liners and provide plenty of bedding. Unprotected skin touching bare metal freezes rapidly.

If the temperature is below 10?C use plenty of straw as it is a good insulator, helping to keep pigs warm and dry. Small amounts of shavings or sand on the bed of the vehicle improves footing. Remove wet bedding after each delivery to prevent it from freezing to trucks.

Protect pigs from freezing rain.  Moisture entering the sides of the truck causes the pigs to lose body heat resulting in hypothermia and death, even at temperatures above freezing.

Should you experience a breakdown, accident or be delayed by bad weather, have an emergency plan. Take what ever actions are necessary to ensure the well- being of the pigs.

PLEASE REMEMBER, the In Transit Protection Program (ITPP) does not cover preventable losses.

WHE Phone Number Changes

The WHE has had to retire their phone system due to old age. We now have a new system in place and the following changes have had to be made:

RED DEER YARD will now have a single new number:



The RISK MANAGEMENT direct line is now:


These changes are effective immediately.

Red Deer PEDv Biosecurity Procedures

 (Updated March 2014)

These procedures are necessary to help prevent the spread of PEDv from the processing plant.

The transporter is a key figure in breaking the contamination cycle.

After leaving the processing plant yard; it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure his trailer is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to returning to the farm or traveling to another farm for reloading.                     

PEDv Preventative Protocol

  1. Driver to arrive with at least one pair of disposable footwear
  2. Driver should place disposable boot covers on prior to exiting the cab of his truck.
  3. *Driver should not go to the office/scale house unless he is wearing disposable boot covers or a dedicated set of boots that will not enter the trailer and will be washed and disinfected separately.*

  4. Driver will be supplied, on request, with two pairs of clean disposable boot covers.
  5. Driver should use one pair of disposable boot covers to walk from the cab of the truck to the unloading dock.
  6. Driver may proceed to the back of truck and wait for WHE employee to process the paperwork.
  7. Once the Driver gets the okay to begin unloading, they should remove their plastic boot covers, so that his boots or disposable footwear are used to step on to his trailer to unload.
  8. The driver will handle hogs on the trailer up to the unloading dock. WHE personnel will handle hogs on the unloading dock into the barn.
  9. Once the Driver enters the trailer, he should not leave the trailer unless he puts on boot covers.
  10. After unloading, the driver should step down and remove his dirty boots and coveralls before putting his plastic boot-covered cab shoes on. Dirty boots and coveralls should go into a tote for washing and disinfection.
  11. Driver needs to inform a WHE employee of DOA’s and or animals to be euthanized.
  12. At the dead pile, or manure clean out, the driver should again wear disposable boot covers while outside his cab or trailer. While in the cab or on the trailer the boot covers should be removed.
  13. Drivers utilizing this protocol would dispose of all boot covers in a designated trash cans before leaving the property.
  14. WHE employee will deliver paperwork to the truck if required.
  15. Driver should leave the premises as soon as possible.

This procedure is intended to minimize the contamination of trailers leaving the plant. Walking in the trailer with dirty contaminated boots will potentially contaminate the trailer.

Upon departure; it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure his trailer is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to returning to the farm or traveling to another farm for reloading.


February 6, 2014

Dear Producer,


Attached are the procedures for producers and transporters to help prevent the spread of PEDv from the processing plant.  We are asking that you pay special attention to these protocol procedures because the key to breaking the contamination cycle for PEDv remains with the transporter.

In the U.S. where PEDv first surfaced in North America according to the Daily Livestock Report, in mid-January AASV (American Association of Swine Veterinarians) reports that there are well over 200 new cases per week.  As of today’s date in Ontario there have been 8 cases of PEDv confirmed.  To date no PEDv cases have been discovered in Alberta.  The Western Hog Exchange (WHE) and its industry partners must play a role in keeping it that way.  The WHE is participating with a team consisting of pork producers, veterinarians, processors and the representatives of AARD (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development) to refine the specific biosecurity approach.

The WHE has implemented extra cleaning protocols at our WHE assembly yards in Red Deer and Lethbridge.  Our staffs at these facilities have been instructed to keep truck contact to a minimum.

Good biosecurity practices on farms will aid in reducing the risk of animals becoming infected with PEDv.  Of equal importance are precautions that should be practiced in the transportation of your animals to the processing facility.
The WHE is distributing suggested protocols to its customers in order to help provide protection against PEDv.  Please review the attached document with your barn staff and with those who transport your animals.

Strict transportation biosecurity is critical to preventing PEDv.

Your cooperation and participation in these biosecurity protocol procedures is greatly appreciated and will go a long ways towards helping to keep PEDv out of Alberta.

Thank you.

Western Hog Exchange