A new herbicide called Roundup, and a strike sets back grain exports

Our History: June 1979

This ad in our June 14, 1979 issue told farmers about some uses for a new herbicide called Roundup, which was handy as a spot or patch treatment for quackgrass and other perennials.

The crop report for the week ending June 12 said seeding was 75 per cent complete for the province overall, but only 70 per cent in the Eastern Region and 50 per cent in the Interlake due to excess moisture.

We reported that new Wheat Board Minister Don Mazankowski had visited the board’s offices in Winnipeg, and promised a quick decision on purchase or lease of more hopper cars to ease the transportation backlog. It was his first visit to the board as minister in the newly elected minority government under Prime Minister Joe Clark.

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Grain exports were to be set back by yet another strike — West Coast longshoremen were off work for 11 days that month, and there was concern about contract talks with grain handlers at Thunder Bay.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland said the need for ethanol production would be considered the amount of corn acreage to be set aside the next year. At that time the U.S. was still paying farmers to cut acreage in an effort to reduce supplies and raise prices. Bergland said production of ethanol from waste material made more sense than producing it from grain, due to uncertainty of supply from year to year. He also dismissed notions of a U.S. grain board or an international cartel to control supplies in an effort to raise prices.

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