‘Bale as you combine,’ and the Virden Auction mart opens

Our History: June 1961

The Welger combine-attached balers advertised in our June 1, 1961 issue were “proven under Canadian conditions” and would “fit most self-propelled combines and are making extra money for hundreds of enthusiastic growers.”

The bales could go to the Stramit strawboard factory in former air force hangars in Carberry, which had its official opening the previous week. The plant was expected to employ 35 and convert 225,000 bales of wheat straw per year into strawboard panels.

We also reported on another official opening, which was for the new Virden Auction mart on May 27. There were 175 cattle sold at the first sale, with one lot of 55 heading to Montreal. Top steers brought $21.90, heifers $20.50 and cows $16.35.

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The year 1961 turned out to be the driest on record for the Prairies, and our front-page story said drought had a “vice-like grip” on the province, reminiscent of the 1930s. It was most pronounced in the southwest and northward from No. 4 Highway beyond the Swan River Valley. Hay crops were especially hard hit but there was hope for cereals to recover if rain arrived.

An ad for Co-op flour had a different marketing pitch than one often heard today — “It’s gluten that makes it so good.”

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