A new pork production fund has been established to help stabilize and spur growth in North Dakota’s hog industry.

Cloverdale Foods Co., the Cloverdale Growers Alliance and Gov. John Hoeven announced a $150,000 grant from the Community Development Block Grant governor’s discretionary fund. It will be matched by Cloverdale Foods Co. to form a minimum pricing guarantee fund through the alliance.

The fund is meant to help producers weather hog price lows and encourage industry growth.

“The fund will give pork producers at least the ability to break even on their investment during depressed prices in low-price cycles,” says Daryl Dukart, general manager of the growers’ alliance.

The guarantee program only applies to new pork production. The goal of the alliance is to deliver 110,000 market hogs annually to Cloverdale Foods by the end of May 2005. Alliance members deliver 80,000 head to the Cloverdale packing plant in Minot, ND.

The alliance also plans to help new producers with low-cost facility leasing programs, access to special operating loan fund programs, technical support, planning and nutrition assistance, feeder pig procurement and marketing.

“With the minimum guarantee pricing fund now in place, our next step is to get out and market this opportunity and promote the program to farmers and ranchers who would like to get into the pork production business or expand their current operation,” says Dukart.

Pork production in North Dakota has declined for several years. There were 600 producers in the state in 2002, compared to 850 in 1998. The number of swine produced dropped from 200,000 in 1998 to 154,000 in 2002 – a record low for the state.