From the Archives: Sask. hit with anthrax

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: July 17, 1941

The Canadian government restricted the export of flour mill byproducts such as “bran, shorts, middlings and other wheat offal” to ensure an adequate supply of livestock feed and milk for consumers. High prices for the livestock feed in the United States had sparked shortage concerns in Canada.

E.L. Gray, a federal official working on the government’s wheat acreage reduction program, assured farmers that their first bonus cheques were on the way. Producers had worried that the payments for reducing wheat production might be significantly delayed.

50 years ago: July 14, 1966

Dmitri Polyanski, deputy premier of the Soviet Union, and Gregori Melnyk, secretary of the central committee of the Communist party in Kazakhstan, visited farms near Regina. They were particularly interested in how Canadian farmers controlled weeds and what kind of farm machinery they used. Grain handling methods at a Sask-atchewan Wheat Pool elevator also caught their attention.

Progressive Conservative MPs suggested extending the crop year because of a 37-day dock workers strike, but the Canadian Wheat Board said the move wasn’t necessary.

25 years ago: July 18, 1991

The race was on for farmers to sell as much wheat as possible before the end of the crop year, when grain prices were set to tumble significantly. Grain companies reported that space was getting tight at their elevators.

Seven Manitoba cattle herds were quarantined and one herd destroyed after lab tests found bovine tuberculosis in a beef cow shipped to a packing plant in November.

10 years ago: July 13, 2006

What was thought to be the worst outbreak of anthrax in Saskatchewan history had put at least 28 farms in the province’s northeast under quarantine and had killed 113 cattle. Making matters worse, veterinary clinics in the region had run out of vaccine.

A funding squeeze prompted the Canadian Grain Commission to focus on services it was legally obligated to provide, such as inward inspection and weighing. Non-mandatory services, such as a special rail car grading program for a short-line railway and analytical services at its grain research laboratory, were either stopped or cut back.

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