Letters to the editor – March 17, 2016

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Quill Lakes flooding

In 1953-55, we had some of the wettest years of my farming years. In these years, the government put in dragline ditched to take the high water of the roads and sloughs. It also had a program for farmer to put dynamite ditches in to also alleviate high water levels.

Then we got a few drier years and the water levels went down. In the late 1960s, the water levels rose again, so conservation and development areas were developed and laterals were dug following the dynamite ditches to remove the water from the land.

Then farmers got V-ditchers going from slough to slough draining their land into these laterals in the fall so they would take most of the spring run off their land. The ditches would then be closed prior to seeding. All rains in the summer they stayed on the land.

All through this time there was no problems flooding the Quill Lakes, as there was very little summer run off to fill the lakes.

The farms then became bigger with larger machines and scraper buggies, using laser guided scrapers to get complete drainage on their farmland, hence starting the flooding of Quill Lakes. Ten minutes after the rain stopped all the water left their land and moved onto the neighbours, flooding lands along the waterways to the Quill Lakes. The drainage basin running into the Quill Lakes is 17 times larger then the Quill Lakes so if we get 15 inches of rain in the summer, the lake goes up 15 inches plus 17×15 equals 155 inches. So if 10 percent runs off of the fields, it would add another 15 inches to the lake. The lake would rise 30 inches.

The problems will never go away unless the tap is shut off. No water should leave the land after seeding, barring a monsoon rain. Ditches have to be filled to control run off.

I still use V-ditches on my fields, closing them in the spring.

Who ever gave a farmer the right to drain and flood out the neighbours? Most drainage is illegal as mostly no one obtains permits. The only one way to solve the problem is shut off the tap. If governments put a stoppage to drainage they will only hurt the small farmer by not allowing V-ditches to stop getting flooded out, as most large farms are completely drained.

Everyone must do their part to alleviate flooding.

Albert Schryvers

Quill Lake, Sask.

Why New Orleans?

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association appears to be trying to make its claim as a farm group by having its annual convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. More likely a tax deduction holiday then anything else.

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One has to wonder why this one-trick group (kill the Canadian Wheat Board) needs to exist anymore. The single desk CWB is gone, aided by the corporate donations to the WCWGA and the hundreds of thousands of dollars of research money the previous federal government gave them.

Farmers now get to face the grain trade head on individually and without the market research the CWB used to provide. Farmers now have the “freedom” to deal with middlemen who now gleefully take what we used to get through the single-desk while the grain companies provide no price transparency.

Producers have lost billions of dollars of revenue in the last few years due to the loss of the CWB and the excessive basis values the grain companies charged, and they will lose billions more this year as grain is sold in U.S. dollars, yet our price in Canadian dollars has not changed for the better. The hard assets we paid for, ­— such as the hopper cars, the building in Winnipeg, the two laker ships and farmers insight/control into the grain industry — are all gone with the loss of the CWB.

With its membership the WCWGA should be able to have an annual general meeting around a kitchen table. It’s a national disgrace anyone can call the one trick WCWGA a farm group. Its sole purpose, when they were not working for the railroads, was to destroy the farmer controlled CWB and replace it with nothing. Its corporate party in New Orleans is a slap in the face to all western Canadian farmers, not to mention the taxpayers of Canada.

Eric Sagan,

Melville, Sask.

Sask. party’s failures

Can taxpayers afford another four years of gross money mismanagement from Premier Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party?

Just to name but a few, the Lean Initiative, the carbon capture failure, the smart meters, P3 schools and the Regina bypass. What’s next?

Catering to outside interests seems to be the focus of this government, instead of the lifelong taxpayers of Saskatchewan.

Kind of ironic that a party named for our province, and thrust into power by the heartbeat of Saskatchewan — the rural residents — forgets where it came from and does nothing for the overall wellbeing of Saskatchewan and its residents.

Wasted billions on multiple pet projects, sending billions out of the province on P3 projects so that it doesn’t have to count it as “debt” on the fiscal report card, paying certain landowners hefty prices for lands, while leaving Saskatchewan homesteads in shambles for mere pennies on the dollar of its true value.

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Saskatchewan residents, you need to ask yourself, can we afford another four years of this? I know I can’t.

Donald Neuls

Coppersands, Sask

Happy CWB is gone

Re: Producer meeting calls for return of Canadian Wheat Board.

I see Kyle Kyle Korneychuk and a handful of others want the CWB reinstated. He cites a study by Richard Gray comparing crop returns from then and now. I don’t think his figures have much creditability. Ken Sigurdson received 90 percent of the port price when the CWB was in place?

I can’t remember ever receiving more than two thirds of the port price for my production, and had to wait for over a year for much of it.

The wheat board supporters are comparing the port price under the CWB to the elevator price now. You can pluck figures out of the air to prove anything you wish; that does not make it so.

The old producers that want the CWB back are responsible for less than 10 percent of production. Ask the producers who account for more 90 percent of production what they think about reviving the CWB.

Roger Brandl

Fort St John, B.C.

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