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A river flows freely in early Manitoba spring

Our History: March 2000

A photo of water running in spring on the Assiniboine River near Brandon is not unusual, but this shot from the previous week ran in our March 9, 2000 issue. A story alongside reported that the winter had been one of the warmest on record, with widespread snow cover not showing up until December, and almost disappearing by early March.

The issue had another story on the continuing decline of fortunes at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, which had embarked on an ill-fated expansion scheme in the 1990s. SaskPool had announced plans to cut 200 staff and close 63 elevators, as well as to cut the number of directors from 16 to 12 and bring in outside advisers. The Pool also announced sale of its 35 per cent interest in Robin’s Donuts.

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We reported that the Canadian Wheat Board had announced a plan to allow farmers to price grain outside the pooling system, basing their price on the pool return outlook or a basis contract tied to Minneapolis futures. Meanwhile, the Alberta Barley Commission had launched another court challenge to the CWB monopoly.

Manitoba’s hemp industry had hit a bump in the road with the bankruptcy of Consolidated Growers And Processors, a U.S. company that had announced ambitious plans for a $25-million processing plant at Dauphin. The company had contracted almost 16,000 acres of hemp with Manitoba growers the previous year, and about eight million pounds of seed were sitting in storage.

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