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Harvesting Wheat 1955.

Credit: Echo

tripled from 20,000 acres to 60,000 acres, but a rust epidemic in 1949 cut yields by over 30 per cent. Over the next few years sunflower acreage dropped drastically and by 1952 only 3,000 acres had been seeded to sunflowers. 58 The crop began making a slow comeback in the area after eva developed a rust resistant variety of sunflower in 1952, but this strain lacked the desired yield and oil content to bring notable improvement in sunflower production. Sunflower acreage in southern Manitoba stayed below 30,000 all through the 1950's and real expansion did not come until the 1960's when newer high oil content sunflowers were introduced by the Morden Experimental Farm."

While sunflower production dropped during the 1950's root crops, especially sugar beets, became more popular in the area. Potatoes were tried experimentally in the mid fifties but it was not until the 1960's that they were grown to any extent. It was the sugar beet that became the new cash crop in the area.

Sugar beets had first been tried in the 1930's after the American Crystal Sugar Company built a processing plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in the late 1920's. By 1930 an agreement had been reached to allow beets grown in southern Manitoba to be shipped to Grand Forks for processing, and to have the refined sugar shipped back. In 1931 twenty-six farmers in Manitoba were growing sugar beets including David Schellenberg, Aron Klassen, Diedrich Klassen and J. H. Klassen of Gretna, and Jacob Rempel and H. P. Hildebrandt of Blumenort." Unfortunately, the experiment came to an end in 1933 when beet growers in North Dakota protested that Mantioba growers were cutting into their business. 61

In the 1940's sugar beets again began to be grown in Rhineland