From the Archives: Farmers told to grow low quality wheat to satisfy market needs

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. 29, 1942

Crop quality was the lowest since 1928, based on protein levels. Grading was also down from previous years.

Not enough lumber was available to meet farm needs, said H. Steinthorson, president of the Western Retail Lumbermen’s Association. He said it had been estimated in July that 200 million feet of lumber would be needed just for grain storage.

“Less than 10 percent of this quantity has been received and at the moment there are thousands of bushels of threshed grain lying out in the fields unprotected,” he said. “Many lumber yards have not had a bundle of shingles in stock for weeks.”

50 years ago: Nov. 2, 1967

A major player in the grain industry said Canadian farmers needed to be able to grow lower quality wheat as well as the top quality varieties for which they were known.

“While high grade Northerns would continue to be the mainstay of prairie production, there should be a lower price wheat to offer the market,” said F.F. Hamilton, chief commissioner of the Board of Grain Commissioners.

Floyd Bigsby, a professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s agricultural engineering department, demonstrates a tractor monitor in March 1977. | File photo

Canadian Wheat Board officials planned to visit China in November to try to negotiate another big wheat sale to that country. The Chinese had bought 33.6 million bushes earlier in the year and another 1.1 million following that, but nothing since then.

25 years ago: Oct. 29, 1992

Canada and the United States were working on a deal that would make it easier for American producers to ship hogs into Canada.

U.S. slaughter hogs coming north had to be quarantined for 30 days to keep pseudorabies out of Canada, but the two countries were talking about lifting that requirement for some animals.

Keystone Agricultural Producers agreed to support Manitoba government restrictions on burning straw.

“I think the whole farm community has received a black eye, and it’s the whole farm community’s responsibility,” said KAP delegate Bill Tows of Lowe Farm. “If we ignore it, we’ll be told what to do.”

10 years ago: Nov. 1, 2007

The wheat board proposed significant increases in initial payments to reflect soaring grain prices. It wanted the milling wheat price to increase to $65 a tonne from $44, the milling quality durum price to rise to $131 from $116 and feed wheat to jump $100 to $230.50.

Lower cattle prices were forcing cattle groups to reduce their budgets. For example, Alberta Beef Producers slashed $750,000 from its 2007-08 budget in the middle of the year but was still facing a $762,500 deficit.

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