From the Archives: 1991 year of losses throughout industry

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: Dec. 11, 1941

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool’s petition demanding a better federal agricultural policy was reported to be collecting 300 to 400 signatures per shipping point. As well, an increasing number of boards of trade were getting involved in the campaign.

Alberta Wheat Pool planned to distribute $650,000 in cash and reserves to pool members and patrons of Alberta Pool Elevators.

50 years ago: Dec. 8, 1966

United Grain Growers criticized the Saskatchewan Farmers Union for opposing an increase in grain handling rates. UGG vice-president D.L. Trapp said SFU members also belonged to the UGG, Sask Pool and other co-operative grain companies and accused them of inconsistency in their position.

“Do we have to wear two hats depending on who we are speaking for?” he said.

Alberta Pool delegates approved the close co-operation seen be-tween the three prairie pools, but after a comprehensive debate at their annual meeting, voted not to pursue formal amalgamation.

25 years ago: Dec. 12, 1991

Farm machinery sales were the worst in decades, perhaps in half a century. Donald Butler, general manager of Massey-Ferguson Industries Ltd. and chair of the Canadian Farm and Industrial Equipment Institute, called 1991 the worst year of a bad decade. “This is the first year that it appears all the major players lost money,” he said.

The 15-year-old Western Grain Stabilization Fund was preparing to make its final payment to farmers, and officials weren’t expecting it to amount to much. In fact, there was some concern that there might be no payment at all. The fund was being replaced by the Gross Revenue Insurance Plan and the Net Income Stabilization Account.

10 years ago: Dec. 7, 2006

The United States took another step toward totally reopening beef trade with Canada after Rule 2, a risk assessment on older Canadian cattle, was sent to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Trade in cattle and beef had been restricted following the discovery of BSE in Canada three years earlier.

Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan members tiptoed around the Canadian Wheat Board controversy during their annual convention. Ottawa’s plan to eliminate the board’s marketing monopoly was dividing prairie farmers, but APAS delegates left the issue off their agenda and vowed to remain neutral.

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