Benchmarking for Ontario Swine Operations

If someone was to invite you to attend a swine seminar on benchmarking I venture to say most would find an excuse not to attend. Now if the same invitation was to attend a producer's presentation about the production side of the swine operation I would expect a definite "Yes".

It seems with benchmarking, the comparing of one's own financial figures against an industry standard, or better still, a group of like producers is just not that exciting. Most producers like to compare production but not the cost associated with that production. Production numbers are very important but it is the associated cost numbers that determine the colour of ink on the operation's bottom line.

For the last 24 months the main message I have heard and read from those involved with lending to the U.S. swine industry, is that producers have the production, now they must work on ways to reduce the cost of that production. The cost of production can only be obtained by getting the financial cost for that operation. The numbers are there, it is just taking the time to pull them together and put them down on paper. By having those financial numbers on your production costs, it will allow you to make informed decisions about your operation.

For more information on developing a cost of production refer to the OMAFRA Factsheet "Guide to Cost of Production Budgeting" on the OMAFRA website.

In Ontario, producers can refer to the OMAFRA Monthly Swine Budget for a reference tool to compare their costs with. While generic in its costing the budget uses a constant set of standards, format, and prices to calculate the monthly figures. For each calendar year there are reference notes explaining how the budget is calculated.

A new feature using the information from the OMAFRA swine budget is the OMAFRA Interactive Swine Budget. It is available to download from the OMAFRA website.

Producers can choose the type of hog operation from the following list:

  • Farrow to Finish
  • Farrow to Wean
  • Farrow to Feeder
  • Nursery
  • Wean to Finish
  • Grow-Finish

The interactive budget allows the producer to input their costs for their type of operation. The results are presented as a financial number, as a percentage of their own budget and how it compares to the Ontario industry accepted benchmark for pork production. The program also provides a graphical summary of the variable expenses between the producer's operation and the OMAFRA swine budget.

Data summarized every six months from the 2009 and 2010 OMAFRA Monthly Swine Budgets is provided for comparison purposes. This financial tool allows producers to compare their costs against an Ontario industry standard and provides direction and discussion points for future management decisions in their operation.

If you have questions about the OMAFRA Interactive Swine Budget or the monthly OMAFRA Swine Budgets, or would like to receive the monthly swine budget by e-mail, please send your request to

Related Links

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: Doug Richards - Swine Grower-Finisher Specialist/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 16 December 2010
Last Reviewed: 11 February 2016