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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 2, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 14-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Timday, October 2, 1073 Canada preparing for metric sales By JIM NEAVES, Canadian Press Writer WINNIPEG (CP) Canada won't sell another bushel of grain in world markets after Aug. Sounds startling, but it's really only a matter of ter- minology because after that date all sales will be made in metric tons. Agriculture will become Canada's first industry to make the dramatic change to the metric system to keep pace with inter- national trading practices. As far back as the 1950s there was talk in the in- dustry of switching from the Imperial or bushel measure to the hundredweight (100 pounds) measure, but for a variety of reasons it never got off the ground. Earl Baxter, Canadian grain commission ex- ecutive director and chairman of the Canada grains council metric conversion committee, says the agriculture in- dustry has a major advan- tage in becoming the prototype for the country's CANADIAN FRONTIER MUSEUM BELMORE'S ALTAMONT COUTTS, ALBERTA Vintage Cars. Airplanes. Tractors, Machinery, Guns. Rocks. Pioneer and Collectors Items, Rare Antiques, Wildlife. Something of interest for everyone, quote "Everything from a post- age stamp to an oil 6 ACRES OF THE UNUSUAL Coffee Shop, Souvenirs, Camper Facilities Tourist Information Now Open to Serve You 7 Days A Week April 21 October 21 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. eventual over-all conver- sion. "It is highly centralized and its regulating legisla- tion lies in the hands of two organizations, the Cana- dian grain commission and the Canadian wheat board, both of which are highly integrated within the system itself." ALREADY CHANGED Mr. Baxter says some switches to the metric system already have oc- curred, in the phar- maceutical trade and cer- tain sections of the automotive industry. "But, as far as we can establish, agriculture will be the first major industry to try this." He emphasizes that no major revisions of stan- dards will be involved and that the change is "essen- tially a conversion, not revision." The change probably wouid have been enacted some time ago, but there were two delays. "The first was that the United Kingdom was a ma- jor customer and it still was on the old bushel and setup and, secondly, many people said we would be out of pace with the United Mr. Baxter said in an inter- view. "Now they are close to change in the U.S. in cer- tain sectors and it appears measures will be introduc- ed in Congress this year." With no question about ADD-A-ROOMS Porches Fir Millie Himes MANUFACTURED TO MATCH THE DUALITY OF YCUR HOME. PRE-FABRICATED IN MODULE SECTIONS FOR EASY DISMANTLING WHEN MOVING. COMPLETELY FINISHED INCLUDING: EXTERIOR METAL, ELECTRICAL, ETC. Priced Less Than It Would Cost To Build Your Own! Dealer Inquiries Welcome FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Mod-U-Fab BOX 1222 PH. 234-3706 SHELTER SYSTEMS LTD. FORT MACLEOD. ALTA. the international metric ton being the unit with prices and rates based ac- cordingly, the larger problem will be moving to the farm level where a smaller unit probably will be necessary. "We are considering the feasibility of introducing the hundred-kilogram or quintal unit and this is one of the first problems being dealt with by the com- mittee." TO HELP FARMERS Mr. Baxter emphasized that the committee also intends to concentrate on providing farmers with in- formation about the change. "It is much better to have them coming with you rather than to hit them cold with the changes." The actual physical conversion, such as scales in the grain elevators, will not be difficult in com- parison with the human change. "The biggest change is that everybody's thinking is going to have to be turn- ed upside down. "All recognize that it is quite impossible for us to say that as of Aug. 1, 1976, somebody will push a button and the grain in- dustry will be converted as of that date it will have to be phased in over a period of time." He said the first change will be at the point of ex- port clearance, and then "work back in towards the producer end." "We would then move back progressively through the system on a geographic basis, coming back up the St. Lawrence, for example, to Thunder Bay and converting these terminals at the next stage and then moving back progressively into the primary Mr. Baxter said. SWITCH SIMPLE He said the milling and feed manufacturing in- dustries have used the 100- pound measure for a long time "so their conversion would be relatively simple from the present decimalized system to the metric unit." The committee now is working with the manufac- turers of scales and other equipment used in the in- dustry to ensure they can provide new equipment by the target date. No estimate of the huge cost involved in the change has been made by the com- mittee, but there is no doubt that it will be even- tually passed on to the farmer. Under the Imperial measure system, wheat weighs at 60 pounds to the bushel, oats 34 pounds, barley 48 pounds, rye and flaxseed 56 pounds and rapeseed 50 pounds. With the change to the metric ton measure, it will take 36.744 bushels of wheat to make a metric ton, 64.842 bushels of oats, 45.930 bushels of barley, 39.368 bushels of rye and flaxseed and 44.092 bushels of rapeseed. One kilogram in the metric system equals 2.204 pounds Imperial measure. Wheat, now worth a bushel, for instance, would be quoted at a metric ton. Red Deer Alberta Hail Corridors j I I Miles .ethbridge i L. HAIL ALLEY Alberta contains one of the worst hail regions in the world. Map shows Jhe three major hail cor- ridors, known to scientists and farmers as Hailstone Alley. The south corridor is in the Lethbridge area; the central corridor in around Calgary; and the north corridor is centred around Red Deer. CUSTOM ENGINE PARTS LTD. THCBCSTttBUir juoroe is A CUSTOM 1605 3rd Ave. South Lethbridge, Alberta Phones 328-8181 328-8182 COMPLETE AUTOMOTIVE MACHINE SHOP TO HANDLE ALL ENGINE WORK AND ENGINE PARTS CYLINDER HEAD and BRAKE DRUM SERVICE WHILE YOU WAIT ;