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: March 28, 1940
James Read of Routledge, Man., had a good week at the Brandon Winter Fair. His three young Shorthorn bulls, all sired by F.H. Deacon-bred Glenburn Bellringer, topped their respective classes, won the grand and reserve grand championships and brought the highest prices of the sale.
The U.S. Senate passed a $928 million farm appropriation bill, which was $203 million above budget. Treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau warned senators that they should not expect the increase to be paid from the treasury’s cash balance.
50 years ago: March 25, 1965
Fertilizer application studies by Don Rennie, head of the University of Saskatchewan’s soils department, found that the average yield obtained on stubble tests was only four to five bushels less than the summerfallow tests, but the crop stand was more variable and sawfly infestations were greater. The trials also compared drills versus discers.
Farmers in the irrigable area near the South Saskatchewan River Dam in Saskatchewan, now known as Lake Diefenbaker, were worried that they might not make as much profit farming under irrigation as they do in dryland conditions.
25 years ago: March 29, 1990
Canadian Wheat Board commissioner Richard Klassen told farmers at a meeting in Rosthern, Sask., that it would be up to them to convince the federal government to add canola to the board’s marketing powers if that’s what they wanted.
Most of the 50 farmers at the meeting supported such a move, but Klassen said the wheat board couldn’t support them because it must remain neutral.
The two major railways lost their legal bid to overturn a decision by the National Transportation Agency to lower grain freight rates by 36 cents per tonne for the next crop year.
The agency had ignored some of the railways’ past costs and took future savings into account when setting the new rate. The railways took the agency to court, but lost.
10 years ago: March 24, 2005
Farmers of North America and Monsanto sparred over the FNA’s plans to help farmers use the seldom-used own use import program to buy cheap glyphosate, particularly ClearOut 41 Plus.
Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan said the company was within its rights to ask the Pest Management Regulatory Agency to ensure that the OUI program was administered to the letter, while FNA president Jim Mann said it bordered on anti-competitive behaviour.
Paul Steckle, chair of the House of Commons agriculture committee, accused the United States of hiding its own BSE problems while punishing Canada for honestly admitting that it has had several cases.
“I submit that from a purely scientific perspective, it is difficult, if not impossible, to accept that the U.S. is free of BSE,” the Liberal MP said during an emergency Commons debate on the continued BSE border closing.