This Agricore ad from our Nov. 18, 1999 issue said the company was doing its best to maintain service during a strike by Grain Services Union staff. Agricore was formed a year earlier by a merger between Alberta and Manitoba Pools, and in 2001 was taken over by United Grain Growers to become Agricore United.
The issue had many references to farm income problems. One story reported on a meeting of 350 farmers at Carlyle, Sask. One said he had taken the Canadian flag down from his farm after Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief and Prime Minister Jean Chretien had suggested that it was wrong to continue propping up farmers with government bailouts. Vanclief had earlier said that his own farm had failed, and others might have to suffer the same fate.
At another meeting in Saskatchewan, farmers heard a ‘Focus on sabbatical’ proposal for exporters to get together and cut production to reduce price-depressing surpluses.
There was more optimism for the beef industry. A government-industry ‘Manitoba Beef Advantage’ project report suggested that Manitoba could double its beef cow herd by converting a quarter of its marginal cropland to pasture.
We reported that the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities had supported a proposal by Prairie Pasta Producers, a ‘new-generation’ co-op, to be allowed to buy durum from members outside the normal wheat board system.
Merger talks were reportedly underway between Monsanto and Novartis, which later became Syngenta. Monsanto was said to be in need of a cash inflow after going heavily into debt after several major seed company purchases.