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‘Better Farming – Bigger Profits’

Our History: September 1954

In 1954 many farmers were still getting used to the novelty of electricity and the Manitoba Power Commission (later Manitoba Hydro) was promoting its use. This ad in our Sept. 2 issue said that on Hydro’s “third block rate,” 200 lbs. of grain could be ground for only one cent.

The year 1954 saw one of the worst rust outbreaks in the history of Prairie wheat production. On Aug. 1 the Dominion Bureau of Statistics estimated the total crop at 487 million bushels (13.3 million tonnes), a sharp reduction from 584 million the previous year. A month later it cut the estimate to 351 million bushels with the prospect of further decline due to both rust and poor harvest conditions. In our Sept. 23 issue we reported that “millions of acres of Saskatchewan’s croplands are literally covered with miniature lakes.”

“In the inundated areas of Saskatchewan and some parts of Manitoba grain in the swath is sprouting. Wild buckwheat is crawling over the swathed grain. Less than 30 per cent of the crop in Saskatchewan is cut and probably no more than 10 per cent threshed.”

A report that month said there was “strong dissatisfaction” with the system of marketing vegetables. A survey by the Manitoba Vegetable Growers’ Association indicated that 85 per cent of respondents supported a compulsory marketing scheme.

Another story Sept. 23 said that a $50,000 Aberdeen Angus bull in New York had been put in an oxygen tent to treat pneumonia and that it was given a 50-50 chance to survive. We were not able to find a followup story with the result.

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