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OUR HISTORY: August 6, 1992

Our August 6, 1992 issue reported on record grain exports of 30.75 million tonnes, but the price news was not so cheery, with truck dealers offering to trade for wheat at $3.15 per bushel. The low price was thanks to the U.S.-EU trade war, and the previous week the U.S. had awarded a $31.08-per-tonne subsidy under the Export Enhancement Program (EEP).

These prices had Manitoba farmers interested in options to wheat, and lentil coverage of 70 per cent of the Indexed Moving Average Price (IMAP) under the GRIP program prompted them to plant 160,000 acres that year. Alarmed about the financial risk for a questionable crop in Manitoba, the province cut the coverage to 58 per cent on April 29, one day before the program deadline. A group of producers was challenging the decision in court.

Elsewhere in the issue, Allan Dawson reported on pending registration of glufosinate aluminum, a Hoechst herbicide which was to be named Harvest (later to be Liberty). A product manager for Hoechst demonstrated a plot of glufosinate aluminum-tolerant canola at Rosebank, saying that it could be registered by 1995.

Other spokesmen for Hoechst and Monsanto speculated about the potential for H-T canola, one suggesting that it could allow canola acreage to reach 10 million acres in Western Canada (this year it’s 21.1 million). However a Hoechst spokesman said that like Monsanto, it was only interested in selling more herbicide, not getting into the seed business.

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