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: July 10, 1941
More than 500 farmers converged on a Catholic parish hall in Canora, Sask., to demand, among other things, that the federal government take over all existing grain storage facilities, including elevators and grain terminals, and operate them on a non-profit basis.
Farmers were in an uproar over a recent federal order-in-council that took precedence over provincial legislation protecting debtor farmers from creditors.
G.R. Bickerton, president of United Farmers of Canada (Sask-atchewan Section), urged the provincial government to take immediate action.
50 years ago: July 7, 1966
Federal agriculture minister J.J. Greene dressed down some segments of the agricultural industry, particularly the farm machinery and dairy and food processing sectors, for not doing enough to support the Man the Provider pavilion at Expo 67, the world fair planned for the following year in Montreal. “So far, only one farm machinery company in Canada has seen fit to participate,” Greene said.
“I will make no further comment on this except to point out that the farm machinery and repair parts industry does some $330 million worth of business at wholesale prices, every year, in Canada.
“The whole cost of the agricultural exhibit here amounts to scarcely more than one percent of one year’s business by the Canadian farm machinery business.”
Canadian Pacific Railway moved 65,539 grain cars from the Prairies to the Lakehead and the West Coast from April-June, which was 20 percent more than in the same period of the record 1963-64 crop year. The average car held 2,000 bushels.
25 years ago: July 11, 1991
Farmers were warned of an imminent pay cut as the federal government signalled it would likely have to sharply reduce initial payments for the upcoming crop year. Wheat prices had fallen $40 a tonne since the initial payment of $135 for No. CWRS had been announced the previous spring, and U.S. export grain subsidies had increased to $45 to $50 a tonne from $10 to $15.
“It’s going to be very distressing,” said Lorne Hehn, chief commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board.
Federated Co-op blamed lower profits on gas price wars that saw, for example, prices at the pump in Saskatoon drop at times below 40 cents a litre from much more than 60 cents a litre a few months earlier.
10 years ago: July 6, 2006
A meeting of world agriculture and trade ministers in Geneva ended in finger pointing and exploded any chance of a substantive World Trade Organization agricultural deal that year. It was a sign of things to come.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced it would allow U.S. breeding cattle to again enter Canada. The restrictions had been part of border controls implemented by Canada and the United States after BSE had been found in both countries three years earlier.