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When buckwheat acres were abundant

Our History: April 1964

This ad from our April 7, 1983 issue reminds of a time when buckwheat was a more significant crop in Manitoba. There were 90,000 acres reported in the province that year, and there had been as many as 135,000 in 1979. However, only 5,465 acres were reported to crop insurance in 2017. Continental Grain, though never a large participant in Canada, was one of the top five grain-trading companies worldwide at the time, but it sold its commodity marketing business to Cargill in 1999.

That issue reported the announcement of the Canadian Wheat Board’s initial payments for the next crop year, with wheat down 12 cents a bushel to $4.63, durum down 26 cents to $4.49 and designated barley down 39 cents to $3.05. The practice at the time was for the federal government to announce the prices, and to suggest acreage changes for the coming season. It suggested wheat acreage be cut five per cent and barley by 20 per cent, but that canola be increased 40 per cent. CWB minister, Hazen Argue asked producers to cut wheat and coarse grain acreage to show support for U.S. acreage reductions that had been announced in an effort to reduce supplies and increase prices.

Another story reported on a meeting in Brandon where a massive $150-million dam had been proposed on the Assiniboine River hear Holland. Benefits were said to be irrigation for 265,000 acres and water for five fast-growing towns in the area.

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