Letters to the editor

INDUSTRY AT STAKE

To the Editor:

I am one of the many PFRA pasture patrons to whom the provincial government will not listen and appears not to care about.

The provincial government has been getting misleading advice from sectors of the agriculture industry that do not have the best interest at heart for the majority of PFRA pasture patrons.

Since the provincial government has stated it wants the present pasture patrons to graze cattle on PFRA lands, the government should be consulting patrons as to the most satisfactory way for this to be accomplished. This has been neglected.

Why does the provincial government not care what happens to the future of the PFRA pastures and the future of many of our upcoming young stockmen who in the past have had the opportunity of getting started in the livestock industry through the PFRA pasture program?

At a meeting of pasture patrons in Saskatoon on Jan. 23, where patrons from 56 of the 62 pastures were in attendance, the minister of agriculture stated he would listen to pasture patrons. This has not happened.

The majority of patrons would like the option of a delay on the first 10 pastures so that due diligence can be done on setting out a sustainable program for patrons, pasture managers, as well as conservationists, First Nations and those interested in conserving our heritage and grassland viability.

A pasture system similar to the one already in place should be the ultimate goal and can be accomplished.

The present pasture program has taken decades to develop and (has) be-come a showcase to the world.

We need not hastily dismantle it in mere months with no sustainable goal for pasture patrons, the livestock industry and interested parties.

The provincial government needs to listen to the majority of pasture patrons who have a direct vested interest in the PFRA pasture program. We are still a democracy.

Contemplate the consequences when you enjoy the beer made from our barley as your T-bone steak sizzles on your barbecue this summer. The pasture patrons and livestock industry are at stake.

BRIDGES VS. CULVERTS

To the Editor:

Re: Old-time bridges versus round steel culverts.

In years past, engineers built 40 to 60 foot bridges.

Today, where there was a 60 foot bridge, they install an eight foot steel culvert. In one area where there was a 60 foot bridge in 1959, a 20 foot bridge was built.

The water flow is eight and a half feet deep and the RM is installing an eight to nine foot round culvert, which is quarter flow area causing to back up the water on the incoming side and add more pressure. There is a curve on the outlet side and it will wash into the land.

Round culverts should be installed in the direction of outlet flow in a straight line into creeks or rivers, not against a curve where they will do damage. Round culverts are small at the bottom and top end, causing back-up in fields.

Highways and municipalities should trench to have the flow straight into streams and not against banks where there is a curve on the outlet side, or install culverts in a different area. Fisheries and game authorities say fish can’t get through some areas.

How can fish go upstream when creeks are full of beaver dams?

Fisheries and game authorities sitting behind desks don’t know, or don’t care to know, that farmers living in the area who use common sense know better than engineers that have diplomas, because they don’t have practical experience like the old engineers that used common sense.

Highways and municipalities should be charged damages if culverts are not placed not to cause damage.

Farmers that do drainage should put up floodgates.

FACTS NEEDED

To the Editor:

In his recent letter to the editor, Much Higher Losses (WP, July 18), Glenn Tait disregards facts that don’t support his ideology.

He blames the lack of protein premiums this year on the loss of the CWB single desk.

However, protein premiums truly are non-existent this year — not just here, but in the United States as well, a situation completely unrelated to whether the single desk was there or not.

The premium for 14 percent over 13 percent in the U.S. is zero right now and has been pretty well all year. Although Mr. Tait doesn’t like the reason, the fact of the matter is that there is a large proportion of the crop in North America — not just Western Canada — that is high quality and high protein.

This situation always depresses protein premiums, even when the single desk was around.

He compares the price of milling wheat to the price of feed wheat and finds that that premium has ended as well — and, you guessed, it, he blames it on the loss of the single desk.

What he fails to see is that the price of feed wheat is a function of other feed grains, such as corn. Corn hit record prices this past year, gaining ground on wheat prices just about everywhere in the world, but also supporting the price the feed industry would pay for wheat. This would be the same with or without the single desk.

He talks about the effect of market forces never before being this drastic — because the CWB was there to insulate, I guess — but the fact of the matter is that market conditions, particularly around corn, really have never been this drastic before.

My goodness, man, the world came close to running out of corn. Of course, feeders are going to pay more for wheat.

I wonder how Mr. Tait would react to this little tidbit: According to the CWB website, in 2011-12, the last year of the single desk, the market premium for 14 percent protein over 13 percent in CWRS averaged about $60 per tonne, and was as high as $100 per tonne.

In the CWB pool account that same year, the premium for No. 1 CWRS 14.0 over No. 1 CWRS 13.0 was only $22.57 per tonne, well below the average.

So, Glenn, what did the CWB do with the other $37 per tonne?

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