From the Archives: Wheat price guarantee ‘most welcome’: SWP

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: Oct. 1, 1942

The dominion government decided to ease restrictions on how much wheat farmers could have ground into flour for their own use. The new policy would allow 40 bushels to be gristed at neighbouring mills, but the wheat would be deducted from their quotas.

American combine operators coming to Saskatchewan to help with a difficult harvest were demanding comparable wages to what they would be paid in the United States. Fifty combines had earlier come north but then returned home again because of the wage dispute. Twenty more had now arrived, increasing the number of U.S. combines working in the province to 40, which indicated that Canadian farmers had agreed to pay the U.S. rate of $2.50 (US$2.78) per acre.

50 years ago: Oct. 5, 1967

The federal government told prairie farmers it would guarantee them the minimum price of $1.95 1/2 basis No. 1 Northern under the newly negotiated International Grains Agreement. Saskatchewan Wheat Pool president Charles Gibbings called the decision “most welcome.”

J.C. Gilson, head of agricultural economics at the University of Manitoba, was one of the five members appointed to a task force to study the problems facing agriculture. The other members were from Ontario and Quebec.

25 years ago: Oct. 1, 1992

Canadian crushers had been forced to import European canola after cool, wet weather put harvest on hold, but a return to good weather had helped resume harvest and put canola processing back on track.

Manitoba Pool Elevators had some good news in a tough year for agriculture. The co-operative posted a profit, which it wouldn’t identify but said was less than the $12.3 million profit of 1990-91. However, that was good enough for president Charlie Swanson. “Given the problems of the industry, it turned out to be a good year,” he said.

10 years ago: Oct. 4, 2007

Avian influenza was found in a broiler breeder operation near Regina Beach, Sask. All 50,000 birds at Pedigree Poultry had been destroyed by Sept. 30, three days after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the presence of the highly pathogenic H7N3 strain of the virus.

Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, slammed the group for its opposition to genetic modification. “During that period (the previous 10 years) there has not been a single example put forward of a demonstrated harm to human health or the environment by genetically modified crops,” he said. Moore called Greenpeace’s anti-GMO campaign a crime against humanity.

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