From the Archives: CWB halts exports after Russia fails to pay bills

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: Aug. 27, 1942

The Canadian Wheat Board denied farmers permission to have their own wheat gristed for their own families’ use after their five bushel per acre delivery quota had been filled. The request had been made by a delegation representing 308,000 prairie farmers and 130 independent flour mills in Western Canada. The wheat board said it sympathized with farmers but that meeting the request would be contrary to government policy.

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture warned that the drain of young men from farms because of the war meant that the production of food was likely to flag and ultimately fail.

50 years ago: Aug. 31, 1967

Saskatchewan Premier Ross Thatcher urged producers to grasp the opportunities that would allow them to increase cattle production to three million head by 1980, a 50 percent increase. Thatcher said the province was already providing assistance with hay shelter construction, forage crop production, community pastures, irrigation, brush clearance and breaking of land but would be amenable to other ideas that the sector might suggest.

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool announced it would build a seven storey addition to its existing head office at the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Avenue in downtown Regina. The building was constructed and still stands, although now under a Viterra sign.

25 years ago: Aug. 27, 1992

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A freak snowstorm swept across southern Alberta, flattening crops and dashing hopes of a top quality harvest. “It would be perfect if this was November, but this is still barbecuing season. What is going on?” said Bob Lyons, a provincial district agriculturalist in Pincher Creek.

The wheat board stopped shipping grain to Russia after that country used up its $1.5 billion line of credit and was $100 million behind in payments. Russia made a $66 million payment in an attempt to get the wheat moving again, but Canada said it was substantially less than what had been originally promised. The wheat board did load one ship in Churchill as a sign of good faith, but 11 other ships remained in Canadian ports waiting to be loaded.

10 years ago: Aug. 30, 2007

Prairie farmers used producer cars in near record numbers in 2006-07 — 12,529 cars — which was second only to the record 13,888 cars shipped in 1991-92.

Farm revenues soared to record levels in the first half of the year as grain prices climbed sharply and livestock prices more than held their own. An increase of $550 million in Alberta put that province into a tie with Ontario as Canada’s largest agricultural province, while farm receipts increased more than 23 percent in Manitoba and more than 16 percent in Saskatchewan. As well, government program payments fell by almost $400 million, or 14.2 percent.

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