From the Archives: Farm programs errantly slammed

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: Aug. 6, 1942

A central committee set up at a provincial meeting of rural and urban representatives divided Saskatchewan into 10 zones in an effort to ensure that enough workers would be available to harvest the heavy crop. Each zone would have a committee that would canvas sources of emergency labour supply and farm needs and bring them together. As well, high schools were given permission to open later so that students could help with harvest.

The agriculture department was researching different types of milkweed because of the plant’s usefulness in making flight suits. A production program for 1943 was also being considered.

50 years ago: Aug. 10, 1967

Canadian Pacific Railway moved a record 450 million bushels of grain in 229,185 boxcars in the previous crop year. It accounted for 56.6 percent of the more than 800 million bu. moved by the country’s two major railways that year.

A dramatic increase in interest among British farmers in growing rapeseed was threatening Canadian exports of the crop to that country. Canada had been supplying most of the 40,000 tons of rapeseed that Britain was importing annually.

25 years ago: Aug. 6, 1992

American politicians had been using a report released by the U.S. General Accounting Office in June to label the Canadian Wheat Board and federal government farm support programs as unfair trade competition, but it turned out that the statistics used in the report were wrong, grossly overstating the amount of subsidies received by Canadian wheat growers. Oops!

Vegetable growers who irrigated from the Assinboine River near Portage la Prairie, Man., were worried that a water diversion to the Pembina Valley would threaten their operations in dry years.

10 years ago: Aug. 9, 2007

A federal judge blocked Ottawa’s efforts to remove barley from the wheat board’s single desk, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper criticized the board for ignoring farmers’ wishes and vowed to end the marketing monopoly no matter what.

Southwestern Saskatchewan farmers received a one-year emergency registration for the use of two percent strychnine in gopher bait. They would also be able to mix their own poison with the two percent strychnine concentrate, which had been off the market for 15 years. Gophers, more formally known as Richardson’s ground squirrels, had been devastating crops in southern Saskatchewan.

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