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From the national educational radio network here is a Business Review ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ROSS Wilhelm of the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration presents his views in the commons of business and economic activity. Most of us think of water as being a means of preventing or putting out fires however this is not always the case in Canada today there's a very serious problem facing the wheat farmers and it is that too much water may over the next eight months result in the burning up of a substantial portion of the recently harvested Canadian wheat crop. Canada is one of the world's largest wheat producers this year they produced about 700 million bushels. The problem of too much water arises from the fact that it's estimated that about half the crop is wet. That is about half of the Canadian wheat has a moisture content of fourteen point six percent or higher and this could could cause the wheat if it's not properly treated or stored to burn up and actually catch on fire spontaneously. Most We just stored in silos are elevators and when we when stored heats up and often cause a spontaneous
combustion or the burning of the wheat. The principal means for preventing the burning of wheat due to this natural process or to either drive the wheat and heating chambers or to keep turning the wheat over so as to permit air to circulate and to cool it off. The problems associated with artificial drying are that it's costly about 10 cents per bushel to dry. And secondly the available drying capacity in the central markets is limited and there simply is not enough time to dry all of the wet wheat and Canada today between now and the time when the next year's crop comes in on July 30 first. It's estimated that the Canadian drying facilities in the central markets can process between 100 and 150 million bushels over the next eight months. This means of course that between 200 and 250 million bushels of the Canadian crop will have to be dried on the farms. The principal area where what we do is a problem is in the prairie states and there are about eighteen hundred dryers on the farms in this area. If these dryers were used efficiently it
is possible that the entire crop could be saved. However recent experience seems to indicate that over 30 percent of the wheat which has been dried on the farms thus far this fall may have been damaged by improper conditioning. Since Canada is one of the world's largest wheat export years this means that there may be many people around the world going hungry this winter and next spring and also most people will have to pay higher prices for their bread. The reason why Canada has so much wet weed is because the Canadian farmers expected the snow to begin to fall in mid November or early December. There's been an unusually wet weather during this. There's been unusually wet weather during this fall harvest season. As a consequence when the rains stop the farmers rush to their fields to harvest the crop before the snow began to fall. The wheat was wet from the heavy rains and the quick harvest after the rains did not give it an opportunity to dry naturally. Ironically the snows have been late in falling in Canada this year and if the farmers had not been so hasty to harvest the we
would have dried naturally in the fields. The hasty action by the Canadian farmers in harvesting their wheat raises a real question as to why they were not provided better weather forecast as the late snows by the government. The present wheat crisis could have been averted if the government bureaucrats had been doing their job properly. All of the what we will not be dried Of course some of it is used as feed for animals and it also has some industrial uses but these are minor quantities in addition the Canadian we are seeking to utilize the drying facilities of Duluth Minnesota to handle part of the crop. The Duluth facilities can handle about three million bushels a month through a fully utilized 24 million bushels over the period. However this will not solve the problem either. There are some offsetting factors. And reports from around the world indicate that the crop situation seems to be good but there are still going to be many people going hungry around the world this winter because Canadian wheat farmers did not receive adequate weather forecasts at a critical time.
That was Associate Professor Ross Wilhelm of the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration. With his views and comments on business and economic activity Business Review is recorded by the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service. This is the national educational radio network.
Business review
Water issues
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
In program number 393, Ross Wilhelm talks about the issue of too much water as a problem in agriculture.
Series Description
This series, hosted by Ross Wilhelm, focuses on current news stories that relate to business and economic activity.
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Wilhelm, Ross, 1920-1983
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35c-393 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:35
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Chicago: “Business review; Water issues,” 1969-01-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Business review; Water issues.” 1969-01-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Business review; Water issues. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from