Manitoba’s pork producers are calling for the creation of a provincially appointed task group to develop solutions to the algae problem in Lake Winnipeg.

Cam Dahl, the General Manager of Manitoba Pork, says farmers are prepared to participate in a broad effort to develop solutions to the challenges facing Lake Winnipeg and suggests, as a first step, we need to bring together expertise from all parts of the Lake Winnipeg basin to form a Lake Winnipeg Task Group.

There’s no doubt there are challenges with Lake Winnipeg and the water shed is huge stretching out almost to Rockies and south into the U.S. into the Red River basin. I think, what we’ve seen in the past is individual segments in the water system of Lake Winnipeg tend to point fingers at each other and try to lay the blame for nutrient loading in lake Winnipeg somewhere else.

The time really has come to bring together all of the interests around the table and have that open discussion looking for solutions instead of just pointing fingers. That includes the municipalities, including the City of Winnipeg.

As most would know, there has been significant raw sewage put into the Red River and ultimately Lake Winnipeg, but other municipalities as well. We need to bring together the first nations around the lake and other resource users. We need to bring together the crop producers and livestock producers like pork and beef and other to really look at comprehensive ways of addressing those concerns of nutrient loading on Lake Winnipeg and not just trying to shift the blame somewhere else.

~ Cam Dahl, Manitoba Pork

Dahl notes the modernization of agriculture is making the application of manure more precise allowing farmers to maximize the benefits of this natural fertilizer while helping to minimize nutrient leaching into waterways, including Lake Winnipeg.