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Mechanization, ‘that extra hired man’

Our History: January 1960

Mechanization, ‘that extra hired man’

More than 100 Manitoba livestock producers had purchased this electric mix mill advertised in our January 7, 1960 issue. It could mix and grind up to four ingredients at a cost of 23 cents per ton.

Free trade, or the lack of it, was the main news item on the front page that week. Manitoba Pool Elevators president W.J. Parker, on behalf of the three Prairie Pools and United Grain Growers, had written a letter to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker citing “grave concern” over Canadian duties and import tariffs placed on Japanese goods. Parker said Japan had become Canada’s second-largest market for wheat as well as an important customer for barley and oilseeds, and that it could become the largest wheat market “provided Canada pursues a trade policy designed to encourage the purchase by Japan of cereals from us.” Diefenbaker’s reply, printed in the next issue, noted that imports of Japanese textiles and other products had risen at such a rate as to cause serious injury to Canadian manufacturers.

There was better news on another trade matter — California and Montana had lifted an embargo on Canadian sheep imports following changes made to our scrapie control program.

Federal Agriculture Department entomologists had released a grasshopper forecast for Manitoba, estimating that 2,812 square miles would be infested compared to 5,441 in 1959. They also said that for the first time it had been found that six-spotted leafhoppers could overwinter in the province.

The department’s cereal rust specialist in Winnipeg said that while Selkirk wheat was still as resistant to the devastating 15B rust strain as when it was introduced in 1955, it was not certain it would remain so indefinitely.

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