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A holiday message from Eaton’s

Our History: December 1955

What goes around, comes around. Mail order is big business these days, as it was in the 1950s, but the dominant supplier then was Eaton’s, not Amazon. This ad thanking farmers for their business ran in our Dec. 22, 1955 issue.

The front page that week carried a report from the Manitoba Agronomists Conference, which heard that leaf and stem rust claimed an estimated 9.5 million bushels of wheat that year, compared to 120 million bushels in 1954. In Manitoba, Thatcher and Redman varieties had carried light stem rust and heavy leaf rust, and had yielded 15.3 per cent less than Selkirk.

The conference also heard that wheat midge had been discovered for the first time in Manitoba, but that as long as there were fairly dry summers, it was not likely to be a threat.

Another report said that “Tobacco of acceptable quality in burning and flavour was grown during the past summer at Marchand and Portage la Prairie. However, further trials are necessary before tobacco can be grown on a commercial scale.”

The annual submission of the Manitoba Federation of Agriculture and Co-operation to the provincial government called for bold leadership in policies to bring agriculture in a fair position with other groups in the Canadian economy. The submission said that gross farm income, aggravated by continued increases in production costs, had resulted in a 47 per cent drop in Canadian net farm income since 1951.

“If governments are either unable or unwilling to reduce these high cost factors in agriculture; if they are to continue subsidizing Canadian industry and labour at agriculture’s expense, then they are obliged to give much more attention to policies of assistance to agriculture,” the submission concluded.

In a memo to the trade, the wheat board said it was dropping the old-fashioned designation of barrels for measuring flour, and would use hundredweights as of Jan. 1, 1956.

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