The Western Producer takes a weekly look at some of the stories that made headlines in issues of the paper from 75, 50, 25 and 10 years ago.
75 years ago: April 11, 1940
The Manitoba legislature asked the federal government to make the crop failure plan effective in Manitoba on the same basis as in Saskatchewan by declaring this a national emergency year and reducing the minimum number of townships in the province that could apply for aid to 40 from 100.
C.C. Matthews, a well-known Aberdeen Angus and Percheron breeder from Calgary, was re-elected president of the Alberta Aberdeen Angus Breeders’ Association.
50 years ago: April 8, 1965
Rapeseed, at an estimated price of five cents a pound, was expected to provide Saskatchewan farmers with their best gross returns in 1965, followed by wheat ($1.65 per bushel), flax ($3 per bu.), barley (95 cents per bu.) and oats (60 cents per bu.). However, these prices weren’t considered much of an improvement from the previous year.
The Saskatchewan government ran an advertisement in The Western Producer that took up more than half a page to explain the province’s tax-free purple gas policy for farm trucks. The ad was in the form of 12 questions and answers, sort of like today’s FAQ page found on many websites. Here was an example. Q: May a truck with a camper coach burn purple gas? A: Yes.
25 years ago: April 12, 1990
Canada took its first steps toward deregulating grain handling tariffs when the Canadian Grain Commission announced it planned to increase the maximum allowable handling tariffs at primary elevators by 20 percent in 1991 and would continue to study the possibility of eventually eliminating them completely.
Former Conservative MP Jim Caldwell was appointed acting general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. He replaced Charlie Gracey, who left the CCA after 20 years to join the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.
10 years: April 7, 2005
Farm leaders welcomed a $1 billion farm aid package as a good start but warned the federal government that they would be back in the fall if prices remained low. “This is a very positive announcement and we thank the minister (Andy Mitchell) and the government for responding quickly, but this in no way meets the full need,” said Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Bob Friesen.
Western Producer markets editor D’Arce McMillan reported in his Market Watch column about speculation that oil was heading into a “super spike period,” in which prices could double in two years to as much as $105 per barrel. “(It) is enough to send chills down most farmers’ spines,” McMillan wrote, because of what it was expected to do to input costs.