From the Archives: Transportation system under fire by special crops sector

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 12, 1942

Saskatchewan asked the dominion government to build war factories in the province that could be converted to farm equipment plants once peace returned.

The resolution, which was unanimously passed in the provincial legislature, said those factories would then be turned over to Canadian Co-operative Implements Ltd.

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities decided to join Saskatchewan Co-operatives and United Farmers of Canada in creating a farmers’ educational organization in the province. George Emmons of Eyebrow, Sask., became the initiative’s first chair.

50 years ago: March 16, 1967

Negotiations continued for an international cereals agreement within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Saskatchewan Wheat Pool president Charles Gibbings, who had just spent two weeks in Geneva, Switzerland, at the negotiations, said talks were slow but entering a new phase.

“A new approach is now being tried in an effort to hasten an agreement within the period remaining,” he said.

The Royal Commission on Farm Machinery got underway in Winnipeg as commissioner Clarence Barber started hearings into the industry. Versatile Manufacturing of Winnipeg was the only manufacturer to participate in the hearings.

25 years ago: March 12, 1992

Keystone Agricultural Producers held a meeting in Portage la Prairie, Man., in response to farmer discontent with the recent federal Transportation Talks. Those meetings were intended to examine transportation issues, but farmers often found that officials at the meetings were unable to answer their questions.

“I’m not even sure why (the meetings) happened,” said KAP president Earl Geddes.

“If they happened for education, I think they could have done a better job.”

The number of animals available at the annual Calgary Bull Sale increased to 491 from the previous year, but the average price dropped by $200 to $3,198. As well, the grand champions were not the high sellers at the Hereford, Charolais, Salers and Simmental sales.

10 years ago: March 15, 2007

Pulse Canada warned that grain transportation had become so bad that special crop firms were choosing to expand in the United States.

While testifying at a Senate transport committee hearing, Greg Cherewyk, Pulse Canada’s director of market development, quoted Saskcan Pulse Trading president Murad Al-Katib as saying that Canada had become the world’s least preferred supplier of pulses and special crops because of its unreliable transportation system.

Agriculture Canada doubled its funding for the Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative, which was designed to help develop feasibility studies for ethanol and biodiesel projects that had more than one-third producer ownership. Demand for the first $10 million in funding was so great that it extended the program for another year and added another $10 million

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