In this ad in our Oct. 29, 1987 issue, CN showed how it had improved its rail car turnaround times from 17.8 days in 1986-87 to as low as 16.0 days that month. The overall average car cycle time for all railways is 16.6 days so far this crop year.
In contrast to today’s mantra to maximize production to feed a growing population, the U.S. Senate agriculture committee had submitted a recommendation to increase corn and wheat acreage set-asides to reduce supplies and increase prices.
To counter high U.S. subsidies, Canadian producers had requested and received an import duty on U.S. corn, and the Canadian Import tribunal had recommended it be increased to $1.07 per bushel. The effects of low prices were being felt in Canada — one story quoted sources saying that the Canadian Wheat Board could lose $400 million in the 1986-87 pool accounts. However, oats — then still under the CWB — were an exception. Strong U.S. demand prompted an increase in the initial payment by $25 to $80 per tonne, but traders said that was still well below cash prices.
Don Knoerr, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, called on the federal government to provide more support to the Farm Credit Corporation. FCC was $125 million in the red, and farmer arrears had increased to $344 million.
Statistics Canada reported that Manitoba wheat yields for 1987 were 28.9 bushels per acre, down from 33.1 in 1986.