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: Sept. 26, 1940
The Western Producer didn’t try to hide its frustration over the federal government’s handling of the wheat crisis. Under the front page headline “Take Your Choice,” the paper ran statements from trade minister James MacKinnon and agriculture minister James Gardiner, one announcing that the cabinet’s wheat committee was considering cash advances to pay for on-farm grain storage and the other dismissing such a plan as “the least acceptable method of proceeding.” The Producer followed these statements with a comment of its own: “If the finance minister and the minister of mines and resources, the other two members of the wheat committee of the cabinet, will now issue a statement, the picture should be reasonably complete.”
The Canadian Wheat Board began allowing farmers to deliver grain above the established quotas, which would then be donated to Canadian organizations directly involved in assisting the overseas war effort.
50 years ago: Sept. 23, 1965
An engineering and construction company proposed a multibillion-dollar water diversion project that would move water from rivers in Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia for use in the water-hungry southwestern United States. Ottawa’s response was lukewarm, with northern affairs minister Arthur Laing saying the government would allow water exports only if it was absolutely convinced they were in the country’s best interests.
Saskatchewan agriculture minister D.T. McFarlane announced an elite swine herd policy to encourage the production and sale of high quality, tested breeding stock in the province. Eligible producers would have at least five purebred sows older than one year and at least one purebred boar of the same breed.
25 years ago: Sept.27, 1990
Farmers were harvesting a bumper crop, but low prices discouraged them from buying more bins. As a result, as The Western Producer put it, “a lot of grain is ending up back where it was before combining — on the ground.”
Deliberate poisoning was suspected in the deaths of 10 cows and eight calves near a dugout on a ranch near Granum, Alta. The cattle were found during fence repair.
10 years ago: Sept. 23, 2005
Manitoba’s hog farmers were alarmed by threats from the federal government to slap duties on U.S. corn in response to U.S. refusals to comply with a softwood lumber ruling. “We need to have access to global-priced grains,” said Dennis Kornelsen, a grain buyer with Hytek Ltd.
Turkey production had reached 56 million kilograms in Canada, six million kg more than at the same time last year. The boom in business was linked to higher turkey purchases by fast food restaurants.