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: Oct. 2, 1941
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool president J.H. Wesson urged the province’s weekly newspapers to support the crusade to get a better deal for farmers.
Farm leaders were trying to persuade the federal government to increase interim payments for wheat and take other steps to improve farmers’ income.
Speaking to the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association, Wesson urged publishers to join in and “help win a square deal for the people of the west.”
The federal government said it would pay one-third of the freight charges on feed grain moved east from the Lakehead if it could be shown it was being distributed for feed purposes under authority of the feed grain controller. The move was part of a three-part plan to deal with an “unprecedented shortage” of feed.
50 years ago: Sept. 29, 1966
Sask Pool’s board of directors asked members for ideas on how to solve the cost-price squeeze plaguing agriculture. The board was concerned that the price of goods and machinery needed on the farm continued to increase while prices for farm products weren’t rising appreciably.
Sask Pool’s final crop report of the year estimated the province’s wheat crop to be 560 million bushels, which was nine million bu. higher than the previous crop report two weeks earlier and 67 million bu. more than the previous record year of 1963.
25 years ago: Oct. 3, 1991
Farmers from across the Prairies descended on Rosetown, Sask., to pack a hockey arena and express their frustration with low grain prices. The crowd supported a demand for a $30 per seeded acre deficiency payment.
The RCMP estimated that 4,000 people attended the rally.
The federal government vowed to launch a new effort to rid the country of costly interprovincial trade barriers and then identified supply management marketing boards as one of them.
An opposition onslaught ensued, and a spokesperson for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government quickly insisted that there was no intention to use the trade barrier issue to undermine marketing board rules.
10 years ago: Sept. 28, 2006
The federal Liberal opposition called on the new Conservative government to scrap a farm support program that it had imposed over farmer objections while in government. Liberal leader Bill Graham and agriculture critic Wayne Easter said the party was now supporting basing support programs on a cost-of-production formula rather than average historical returns because times had changed since they were in power.
Charleton Communications of Regina proposed that three farm groups — the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, the Western Barley Growers Association and the Alberta Barley Commission — hire the communications company to co-ordinate a letter writing campaign in favour of the federal Conservative government’s plan to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board’s single desk.