Our February 1987 issues had several ads for Vitavax, but it and its manufacturer Uniroyal are now part of history. Vitavax was based on lindane, of which use was discontinued in Canada in 2004 except for the treatment of head lice.
Our Feb. 5 issue reported that as a result of the continuing world grain trade war, the wheat board reported a $201-million deficit in the 1985-86 pool accounts. It was the largest-ever deficit, totalling more than all deficits combined on the previous 45 years. There was little outlook for improvement, and the annual Manitoba Outlook Conference heard a provincial statistician forecast a 21 per cent drop in farm income for the coming year.
Land rents were dropping accordingly — prices around Brandon were quoted as $18-$22 per acre versus $27-$32 in 1986, and provincial officials suggested a 22.5 per cent share for crop-share landlords.
On Feb. 12 we reported that the RCMP were reviewing 33 cases of major contract violations under the stabilization plan operated by the Manitoba Beef Commission. The farmers were suspected of taking advantages of the current higher prices without having paid the premiums. At a meeting in Gladstone, beef producers heard that the commission had to cut support levels the previous year because of reduced revenue from farmers who had cut their coverage levels due to rising prices. Commission chair Rudy Usick said the province had contributed $52 million since 1982, and at one point the plan’s deficit had reached $33 million.