If you’re looking for retirement income today, you’ll look fondly at the 13.5 per cent on 10-year certificates offered by Manitoba Pool Elevators in May of 1980. At the end of 10 years, they’d be worth $3,548. If you invested at today’s GIC rates of around 2.5 per cent, $1,000 would become only $1,280 in 10 years.
However, there is another side to interest rates and a front-page story in our May 6, 1980 issue that said Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan was offering little hope of general emergency assistance to farmers hard hit by inflationary input costs and high interest rates.
Hog producers were an exception — Whelan had announced a $46-million payment of $2.46 per hundredweight for market hogs. He blamed overproduction for low prices and called for supply management to control hog supply.
Another story offered a premonition of bad news to come — a PFRA survey said Prairie soil moisture reserves were very low. Manitoba turned out to be especially dry that year, with average wheat yields falling to 21 bushels compared to a previous five-year average of 28.
That probably meant higher protein, so there was some slight offsetting good news in another story, which said the wheat board would begin offering protein premiums for the new crop year.
Another story began with “Have you ever heard of an air seeder?” and went on to explain the benefits of this new technology.