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. 5, 1942
The Wartime Prices and Trade Board announced that the amount of butter stored in warehouses and creameries as of Nov. 30 could not be more than five percent of the amount held on the same date of the previous year. The board said butter consumption was up from the previous year but added “with co-operation on the part of consumers it will be possible to maintain an adequate supply to meet normal demands.”
The dominion government was urged to develop a food production plan for Canadian farmers so that they knew what was expected of them. “We as farmers are justified in fighting for a little gravy,” said M.M. Robinson, Ontario director of the Canadian Food Distribution Council. “There isn’t anyone who will do a better job if there’s a dollar at the end of it.”
50 years ago: Nov. 9, 1967
Outbreaks of blackleg disease in Saskatchewan cattle herds were reported in the Regina and Yorkton areas, and livestock authorities urged producers to immediately vaccinate calves. At least 13 cattle had died from the disease.
A drop in grain sales to Japan and China were behind a sharp reduction in the number of ships loading at the West Coast, putting 200 grain handlers out of work. Grain shipments had boomed since 1961, but U.S. price-cutting was eating into Japanese sales, while Chinese sales were off because of that country’s cultural revolution.
25 years ago: Nov. 5, 1992
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool said the province’s farmers each lost $109,220 over the last nine years because of the international grain war. An analysis done by the pool found a total loss to the provincial farm economy of $6.7 billion.
A special binational panel set up under the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement threw out a 9.9 cent a kilogram countervail tariff that the United States had slapped on Canadian hogs in 1988-89. It was considered a major victory for Canadian hog producers in their long-standing fight for grain access to Canadian markets.
10 years ago: Nov. 8, 2007
Analysts were arguing that world petroleum production had peaked and that a bidding war would soon erupt over what was left.
Many were predicting that crude oil prices could hit $100 a barrel by winter and even $150 in the coming year.
Matthew Simmons, a well-known U.S. oil industry financier, was even saying that $300 per barrel was possible. “Some of the people I’ve been listening to say we will have an absolute decrease in the amount of oil produced in the world starting in about 2011 or ’12,” said Larry Martin of the George Morris Centre.
Viterra, James Richardson International and Cargill sided with the Canadian National Railway in its dispute with small grain shippers, which were opposing CN’s plan to set up a car awards program to en-courage the weekly shipment of 100-car unit trains. The grain companies said such a plan would make the handling and transportation system more efficient, flexible and cost-effective.