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: Nov. 19, 1942
The size of the 1942 wheat crop was reduced by 7.55 million bushels, but the crop was still the largest ever harvested in Canada at 607.688 million bu.
The Dominion Bureau of Statistics’ total estimate for the prairie crop was now 580 million bu., seven million bu. less than the first estimate.
Thirty farmers from St. Paul, Alta., were organizing a co-operative farm.
Each farmer would continue to own his land and buildings, but the co-op members would pool their livestock and equipment. They were also developing a four or five year crop rotation.
50 years ago: Nov. 23, 1967
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool delegates called for increased support for agriculture, “either through marketing subsidies related to production costs or through income supplements coupled with a domestic price for wheat related to the price index of goods and services used by farmers.” The demand was part of a 15-point farm policy for 1968 that was approved during the pool’s annual meeting in Regina.
J.B. Lawrie, assistant chief commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board, countered arguments that had been made in the past year in the grain industry that Canada should produce and sell both high and low quality wheat.
“Canada should continue to produce high quality wheat rather than attempt to grow cheap, low-quality wheat,” he told the United Grain Growers annual meeting. “Other countries can produce larger quantities of cheaper wheat than we can. Canada is one of the few countries that can produce a quality bread wheat. We should stay with quality.”
25 years ago: Nov. 19, 1992
Canada again cut Russia off from any new grain sales on credit until it began to pay back its existing debt of more than $1.5 billion. The federal government had taken similar action earlier in the year for the same reason. A senior economist with Russia’s trade mission in Ottawa said his country was critically short of hard currency and urged Canada to be lenient. Russia was $85 million behind on its debt to the wheat board.
Canadian beef exporters were warned about the implications of an expanding cattle herd in the United States. Randy Blach, an analyst with Cattlefax in the U.S., said the expansion was happening faster than most people thought.
10 years ago: Nov. 22, 2007
A coalition comprising First Nations bands, Sask Pork and Big Sky Farms said it was working on a plan to build a hog plant in Saskatoon with an annual capacity of one million hogs. The plant was never built.
Alberta’s seed potato sector was in lock-down mode after pale cyst nematodes were found in the province. Seed potato exports to the United States were temporarily banned while officials retested samples. Two positive cases out of more than 2,000 samples had been found earlier in the fall.