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New grain facility comes to Homewood

Our History: June 1950

The elevator still stands, but without the Pool logo — this photo from the official opening of the expanded Manitoba Pool facility at Homewood appeared in our June 26, 1980 issue.

It wasn’t likely to see a lot of business that year — much of the issue was devoted to coverage of a severe drought in Manitoba that year, and Manitoba Pool was estimating the crop would be down by 23 per cent from the previous year. The drought extended well into Saskatchewan, but Alberta was reporting good conditions.

Premier Sterling Lyon had announced a $40.3-million feed-assistance program, which included provisions for haying and pasturing on Crown and wildlife lands and road allowances, as well as importing 295,000 tonnes of hay, straw and greenfeed from Ontario, plus 425,000 tonnes of grain pellets from Lakehead terminals. It was estimated that without the program, 200,000 head of cattle would have to be culled.

The discussion was probably academic given the expected poor crop, but Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and U.S. President Jimmy Carter met in Venice and reportedly discussed whether Canada would limit sales to the Soviet Union to the traditional average of 3.8 million tonnes. The U.S. had asked other exporters to co-operate in the sales embargo imposed when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan earlier that year.

As in Hawaii today, a volcano was in the news. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 2.2 million acres of crops in Washington state had been damaged by the eruption of Mount St. Helens, with damage to crops, livestock and machinery valued at $190 million.

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