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Our History: October 1981

Style and cab comfort were features promoted in this ad for the International Harvester S-Series Sundance truck in our Oct. 29, 1981 issue.

If you were buying one on credit, the interest rate would have been more that 20 per cent, and our main front-page story that week was on a spat between federal Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan and R.M. MacIntosh, president of the Canadian Bankers Association. Whelan had accused the banks of “horrible lending practices,” while MacIntosh responded that he was “grandstanding to farm organizations.”

An Agriculture Canada analysis predicted cattle prices could strengthen to C$82 per hundredweight due to lower supplies, but consumer demand would be dampened by high interest rates and inflation.

The rates may have contributed to strong interest in a new two-year Manitoba Hog Producers Income Assurance Plan — almost 2,000 producers had enrolled, accounting for about 75 per cent of provincial production. Based on a 167-pound dressed carcass, producers would receive $10.27 per hog for the first quarter and $13.91 for the second quarter to a maximum of 1,250 hogs per producer. Current prices were an estimated $67.25 per hundredweight.

Also in the news that month was an unprecedented number of farm chemical thefts. About 20 break-and-enter incidents for about $90,000 had been reported so far in the year. The stolen chemicals were being offered at cut rates to retailers — one reported being offered $10,000 worth of Treflan for $5,000.

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