Melita durum wheat advertised in our Dec. 4, 1997 issue was named for the southwest town in what was once Manitoba’s durum area, but that apparently wasn’t any incentive to keep growing durum in this province. Statistics Canada reported 140,000 acres in 1997 and 200,000 acres the following year, but the crop began a steady decline afterward and the last StatsCan report was for 15,000 acres in 2005. However, AC Barrie, another variety advertised that week, went on to much greater success.
The big news for the week was the announcement that Maple Leaf Foods had chosen Brandon for its location to build a world-class hog-processing plant in Western Canada. Forty-two communities had pitched the company for the location. That good news for the hog industry was tempered for some the following week when it was announced that the Manitoba government would proceed with a plan to ban winter spreading of manure.
A story that week marked another of the first events which led to a long struggle for Riding Mountain-area cattle producers — tuberculosis had been confirmed in 30 animals near Rossburn.
In Great Britain, the scare over BSE remained at a high level, and the government had banned the sale of unboned beef due to fears that the bones could transmit the disease to humans.