This Don 1500 combine from Belarus advertised in our June 2, 1988 issue was available at the introductory price of $89,000.
In other Soviet Union-related news, we reported on a USDA estimate that it would reduce its grain imports by 6.5 million tonnes to 26 million tonnes. Soviet grain imports had been as high as 50 million tonnes in 1985-86. This year former Soviet countries are expected to export more than 100 million tonnes of grain.
Our history item last week was from 1961, which was to top 1937 as the driest on record on the Prairies, but this dubious first place was replaced by 1988. Our June 2 issue reported that Manitoba crops that had received frost two weeks earlier were now under stress from temperatures over 30 C. In some parts of the Prairies, farmers had stopped seeding and were waiting for rain.
The following issue on June 9 reported that the Mulroney government would end the two-price wheat policy under which domestic sales were made at $7 per bushel, with the federal government making up the difference with the lower export price. Government estimates were that the change should reduce the price of a loaf of bread by between two and seven cents. Canadian millers and bakers welcomed the change which would make them more competitive with the U.S., but a Canadian Bakery Council representative said it was impossible to speculate on actual reductions.
There was some good news for beef producers: after many years of being vilified for causing heart disease, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine said that stearic acid found in beef apparently lowered rather than raised cholesterol. In the previous 10 years U.S. per capita beef consumption had dropped 17 per cent while poultry consumption was up 46.5 per cent.