This photo of earthmoving equipment heading to shore up dikes south of Winnipeg ran in our April 24, 1997 issue, which was three weeks after the record April 5 blizzard that led to “The flood of the century.” A less well-remembered effect of that blizzard was its effect south of the border. We reported that more than 100,000 cattle in North and South Dakota had died from being trapped in snowdrifts, and more losses were expected for the calf crop.
Wheat futures prices had jumped due to an eight-month high due to a hard frost in Kansas the previous week, with losses estimated at 150 million bushels (four million tonnes).
U.S. farmers had other concerns. We reported on a meeting of 350 farmers in Minot, North Dakota who were concerned about imports of Canadian grain and cattle. There were complaints from farmers who said they had to wait in line behind Canadian trucks at their local elevators. Many blamed the problem on the Canadian Wheat Board, and they were supported by some Farmers for Justice members who held another meeting with U.S. farmers to say they also opposed the CWB.
We also reported that Saskatchewan Wheat Pool was in expansion mode, announcing construction of a grain-handling facility at Northgate, North Dakota and the later ill-fated terminal at Manzanillo, Mexico. It also had plans, which were never completed, to jointly build a terminal at Roberts Bank near Vancouver.