Branch line closures big issue in 1965, 1982

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: May 23, 1940

Canada and the United States decided that plummeting grain prices would not be permitted to fall below the closing prices of May 17, which were 70 3/8 for wheat for May, 71 3/8 for July and 73 5/8 for October. The action was taken after a disastrous slump in wheat prices followed Germany’s new offensive against Holland, Belgium and France. A government sub-committee talked with the Canadian Wheat Board about possibly closing the Winnipeg grain exchange, and a large delegation representing the wheat pools, the grain exchange and elevator companies was said to have descended on Ottawa.

Research at the Dominion Experimental Farm near Swift Current, Sask., determined that pulling slow speed tillage implements at higher speeds produced unsatisfactory results in the field. High speed implements were economically essential when using high tractor speeds, the researchers concluded.

50 years ago: May 20, 1965

The three prairie wheat pools told federal cabinet ministers that a proposed branch line rationalization authority would require broad and effective powers if it was to achieve maximum benefits.

Paul Babey, president of the Farmers’ Union of Alberta, told producers at a meeting in Grande Prairie that they must overhaul their marketing mechanism if they were to withstand the competition from corporate operations.

25 years ago: May 24, 1990

Canada’s agriculture ministers approved a fast track proposal to establish a new two-tier farm income safety net system, which was intended to require farmers to take responsibility for guaranteeing their own income security.

However, some farmers worried that the government was moving too fast on the file.

Pound-Maker Feeders of Lanigan, Sask., announced that it would soon be the site of Canada’s first integrated ethanol production and cattle feeding operation. The plan worked, and Pound-Maker continues to be a small but active player in the country’s biofuel industry.

10 years ago: May 19, 2005

A Court of Queen’s Bench judge rejected an attempt by Saskatchewan organic farmers to mount a class action lawsuit against the developers of genetically modified canola.

The Canadian Grain Commission said it would take off the gloves and abandon its policy of friendly persuasion when dealing with unlicensed grain companies and dealers. Instead, it threatened to use fines or jail times to enforce compliance.

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