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Letters – for Aug. 25, 2011

Proper tire inflation crucial to performance

I have spent a number of years teaching advanced driving techniques to groups such as police, ambulance and the general public, and I take exception to Jim Kerr’s statement that one not “inflate the tires to the pressure shown on the tire sidewall.”

To say this is to indicate one’s ignorance of the dynamics involved. We need to consider the two parties involved in this statement. One is the tire manufacturer, who designs the tire to meet specific criteria of traction and safety. The other party, the automotive manufacturer, designs the vehicle around comfort of ride, and we would hope safety. They do not design nor manufacture the tires on the vehicle.

The number shown on the sidewall of a tire indicates the minimum tire pressure required to carry a specific load. As an example, my truck tire reads max. load 1,598 lbs., max. pressure 44 psi. What this means is for the tire to carry 1,598 pounds it must have 44 pounds of pressure.

And it must be remembered that under extreme braking and manoeuvring 80 per cent of a vehicle’s weight can transferred to one tire. If that tire is under-inflated the bead of the tire can be ripped off, causing an instant deflation of the tire, which can cause the rim to dig into the road surface, and a potential rollover.

The importance of using the sidewall pressure indicated on the sidewall of a tire might best be expressed by study done by Goodyear a number of years back. It found that by underinflating a tire by two pounds (sidewall of 35 versus 33 pounds) all the performance characteristic of the tire fell off by an average of 10 per cent. Conversely, by adding two pounds over the sidewall, the characteristics of the tire improved, with the exception of tire life, (due to the tire’s inability to flex under load, which tends to destroy the integrity of the tire).

The idea of using the vehicle manufacturer’s number to determine tire inflation pressure is an old idea that was popular when bias tires were the norm. Today’s high-tech radial tires must adhere to the numbers recommended by the tire manufacturer.

Wayne James Beausejour, Man.

Little Support For Open Market

After travelling to Regina, Saskatoon, Oak Bluff, and then Dauphin, we are finding very little support for the dual desk leading to open-market theory.

It appears that clear and concise information about this serious issue has the public engaged. Farmers and urban folks are now setting aside money for an inevitable legal challenge to protect and maintain our collective marketing strength, and to avoid the certain loss of huge amounts of money due to reduced commodity prices at the farm gate for wheat, barley, canola, flax, oats, sunflowers, corn and beans, etc.

When going from one strong seller (our CWB) and hundreds of competitive buyers in 70 countries around the globe to 70,000 sellers, (some presently in a weak financial condition after years of weather perils), and four or five shrewd cartel-behaving purchasers, things will change dramatically.

The fight for preserving the CWB single-desk selling will be won, but it will take knowledge and understanding by everyone so these types of events do not recur.

Learn to do more as an individual and demand more to create a better world than the one we are sinking into. A more balanced approach is needed. It starts with you, it is ours to lose.

Andrew Dennis Brookdale, Man.

CWB battle has just started

I have long respected John Morriss’s opinions, and I continue to do so, but I have to disagree with some of John’s conclusions in his August 11 editorial. Specifically, his conclusion “this battle is over” on the CWB issue. I could see why someone might think that – I wondered that myself a few times over the last few months. I have to tell John, though, that I think the tide is shifting. I was very heartened by the presence of two Conservative MPs at the CWB farmer meeting in Oak Bluff on August 10. They listened to what all the farmers present were saying.

I have also been incredibly heartened by the determination of farmers from across the Prairies to have their right to choose whether they want a single-desk system or not be respected by this government.

Minister Ritz doesn’t necessarily want to listen to the views of farmers who don’t agree with his plans, but it is hard to ignore the voices of tens of thousands.

I’m hoping he’s also willing to listen to the views of his own caucus colleagues and those of other MPs and MLAs from across Western Canada. They are hearing directly from their own constituents – many who voted Conservative in the May 2 election – about how upset the majority of farmers are with the government’s plan to ignore the plebiscite results.

There is momentum, and it’s growing, and that’s why I think John is wrong; this battle isn’t over. It’s just getting started.

Bill Toews Elected CWB Director, District 10 Kane, Man.

Misplaced Credit

I just had to respond to the article “Ritz’s effort praised by fellow MP.”

It appears that members of the Conservative party are now stooping to new lows. Praising one of their own in order to draw media attention. I mean really; has Ritz done anything but his job?

After all, the current high prices of cattle have little to do with his efforts to expand beef exports, and more to do with the aftereffects of BSE. So many cattle producers have left the business and cattle numbers are down all across North America. Even with the current high prices the herds still haven’t increased because those looking to retire during BSE tried to hang on till prices improved and are now exiting the industry. Furthermore, some of these export markets are just now returning after BSE.

Next they will be crediting all the sunny weather to Minister Ritz too.

Robert Vosters Marquette, Man. (cattle producer) In the August 4 edition of the Co-operator,Andrew Dickson of the Manitoba Pork Council (MPC) says that there is mandatory training for anybody trucking hogs. I would have to say given the death of 22 pigs from heat stroke as well as all the other circumstances surrounding the incident (at the Maple Leaf plant in Brandon) in 2008, that the training isn’t going so well. I’m not one for more government controls, but when it comes to this type of abject failure, I say go for it!

The expensive full-page ads that appear in theWinnipeg Free Pressfrom time to time as well as the TV ads stating that the MPC cares and is doing its job well are fooling nobody.

In fact they are an accurate reflection of how deep the hole is that MPC is standing in. Never have I seen a management team working so hard to keep things the same instead of taking the lead. What a shame.

Leslie Yeoman The Humane Education Network (THEN) 106 Lipton Street

Winnipeg, Man.

Cart Before The Horse

As I recall, the morning after the election in his euphoria Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz stated categorically that, “the wheat board was dead, period.” This mantra has been repeated “ad nauseum,” up until now when he at last is deeming it necessary to spend a million dollars’ worth of government money to determine costs associated with the abrupt dismantling of the well-respected Prairie institution. Pension liabilities alone will cost them millions in buyouts. Talk about the cart before the horse. Malcolm Macdonald

Brandon, Man.

Letter To MPs: Allow Farmers To Vote

The Producer Car Shippers of Canada (PCSC) is concerned about the negative impact that the federal government’s intended changes to the Canadian Wheat Board will have on producer cars. We would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with the specifics of this negative impact.

This letter is to advise you that the PCSC is urging you to support a farmer’s right to have a say regarding the future structure of the CWB. A democratic vote by farmers through a plebiscite with a clear question as spelled out in the CWB Act is not too much to ask.

We are not asking you to take a position on the legislated single-desk privileges granted to the CWB, but we are asking you to show your respect for farmers by insisting that the federal government allow farmers and only farmers to vote on this farmer-specific issue. We look forward to your early response on this time-sensitive democratic principle. Tim Coulter

President Producer Car Shippers of

Canada Briercrest, Sask.

Marketing Choice: Take It Or Leave It

“Farmers should have the option of selling their wheat to whoever they choose.”

That’s a good slogan, but what choice do they have? The price of grain is determined on the world market. Years ago, the price on the Prairies was determined on the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. Each day at noon the price was broadcast on local radio and every elevator had the same price. Farmers had free choice to deliver to whoever they chose, but the price was the same at each company.

I was born in the era of the open market. In those days, scouts roamed the Prairies reporting crop prospects. When a bumper crop was forecast, prices declined all during the growing season and when harvest time arrived prices were at the lowest point of the year. The grain companies were able to buy up the year’s supply at rock-bottom prices because most farmers had the choice of take it or leave it. Most had to sell to satisfy creditors. A very small minority of farmers had enough assets to be able to wait out the market and sell the next March or April when prices were highest.

What choice do farmers have? The five or six big grain companies decide over coffee in the morning leaving the farmers a choice – take it or leave it. The only real choice would be if you had enough tonnage to look offshore, charter an ocean freighter and deal overseas.

Since Bunge sees profit in Western Canada after the wheat board’s demise it must be the big grain companies that stand to gain.

Who has the most to gain are they who are promoting marketing choice.

I’ve figured out who has the most to gain. I’ve figured out who is behind this massive campaign to get rid of the wheat board and why it’s to their advantage. I still haven’t figured out why our minister of agriculture is so keen to do their bidding.

Jack Madill Miami, Man.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

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