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Crow era ends on the Prairies

Our History: November 1983

Crow era ends on the Prairies

Our Nov. 24, 1983 issue reported the end of a long and contentious era in Prairie grain history when royal assent was given to a bill ending the Crowsnest freight rate. While the end of the below-cost rate may not have been welcomed by farmers, it was by CP Rail, which immediately announced it was pulling out all the stops on a multimillion expansion to capacity in the West.

Some producers hoped for an increase in wheat board quotas before the rate went up in January, but chief commissioner Esmond Jarvis said that could be difficult due to expected congestion.

At a meeting of the Manitoba Farm Business Association in Carman, panellists warned against production of Solar and Era, two U.S. semi-dwarf wheat varieties, citing the danger of them being mixed with CWRS. Some encouraged producers wanting to grow higher-yielding varieties to wait for HY-320, which could be licensed within two years.

At a meeting in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba pulse growers agreed to form an association and to join with two sister groups to form a Prairie organization. Membership would be $25 for individuals and $50 for companies.

In livestock news, special meetings were being considered to educate producers on correct procedures for finishing cattle. The Manitoba Beef Commission reported that about one per cent of the 1,500 to 2,000 cattle it marketed each week were being turned back because they weren’t suitable for slaughter.

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