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Table of Contents
Foreword
Preface
Glossary

Chapter 14: Agriculture

Introduction

The distribution of agricultural land in south and central Manitoba is easily mapped using small-scale images that provide an overview. At a larger scale the patterns produced by various stages of harvesting provide some of the most distinctive images of southern Manitoba. Old photos record obsolete techniques, and newer images demonstrate techniques used to cope with high evaporation rates and limited precipitation (field shelterbelts and irrigation). As with natural vegetation, so too with crops, colour infrared photos are useful in detecting crop types and diseases.

14.1: Distribution of Agricultural Land in Southern Manitoba

On this fall image (September 18) the colouring has been manipulated so that areas of woodland/grassland that reflect large amounts of infrared radiation appear as red/orange 1. At this date harvesting was probably mainly completed leaving many fields without a vegetation cover and exposing the dark chernozemic soils, particularly in the east 2. In the west 3 and southwest 4 there is a greater incidence of beige/yellow fields that probably have a stubble covering.

Woodland/grassland regions delimit the principal agricultural areas:

A.    A large area between Portage la Prairie 5 and Winnipeg 6 extends south along the Red River Plain 7 into North Dakota. The Pembina Hills 8 to the southwest and the Interlake region 9 to the north bound this area. A projection extends northwards surrounding Oak Hammock Marsh that appears as orange 10. East of Portage 11 pink areas are common, possibly due to late maturing crops. Also, the courses of the Assiniboine River 12 and the Boyne River 13 can be identified as linear red areas.

B.    West and north of Portage la Prairie the agricultural area is less uniform, broken up by pockets of woodland/grassland. To the west agricultural fields are interspersed with woodland/grassland on the lower Assiniboine Delta 14. Backing this region is a prominent area of woodland marking the eastern edge of the upper Assiniboine Delta 15. Agricultural land extends north along the west shore of Lake Manitoba 16 with another spur 17 west of Big Grass Marsh 18.

C.    West and southwest of Neepawa 19 is an area bounded to the east by woodland on the Assiniboine delta 20. One spur of agricultural land extends south onto the delta 21 where late glacial deposits extend over the delta sands.

D.    South of the Assiniboine Delta and southwest of Pembina Mountain agricultural fields are mixed with woodland/grassland that is especially marked along the Souris Gorge 22 and the Pembina Valley 23.

 

Figure 14.1: Distribution of Agricultural Land in Southern Manitoba

Figure 14.1: Distribution of Agricultural Land in Southern Manitoba

Figure 14.1

Landsat image

Band 4: 0.5-0.6 micrometres green; 5: 0.6-0.7 micrometres red; 7: 0.8-1.1 micrometres infrared

Date: September 18, 1973

Scale: 1:1,000,000 (approx.)

 


14.2: Agricultural Land in Southern Manitoba and Northern North Dakota

This Skylab[i] photo shows land on either side of the Canada/U.S.A. border 1. This is a true photograph as opposed to the image that appears in figure 14.1. The photograph shows real colours, although they are distorted by the fact that the earth’s surface is being viewed through the whole atmosphere. Within Canada the photo extends from the Red River in the east 2 to beyond the escarpment of the Pembina Hills in the west 3.

At the date the photo was taken (September 19) the grain harvest was partly completed resulting in beige coloured fields 4—on which there was still some vegetation—to dark-toned fields 5 where the chernozemic soils were exposed. Most of the area is devoted to agriculture with individual rectangular fields being visible 6, but some areas of dark-toned natural vegetation remain: along the eastern edge of the Pembina Hills 7 with some Lake Agassiz strandlines clearly visible 8; along the sides of the Pembina Valley 9 and Lyles Creek 10 further north; in the area around Lizard Lake 11; and in the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation 12.

Some variations are visible within the agricultural area; for example, the area south and west of the Pembina Escarpment 13 is lighter-toned than the land. further east 14, suggesting that there is more grain or stubble left in the fields in the west. Also, there is a darker area in the centre of the photo where fields are smaller 15.

Small tufts of clouds can be seen 16 that throw shadows to the northeast 17, indicating that the photo was taken in mid-afternoon when the sun was in the southwest.

Figure 14.2: Agricultural Land in Southern Manitoba and Northern North Dakota

Figure 14.2: Agricultural Land in Southern Manitoba and Northern North Dakota

Figure 14.2

Skylab image using a long focal length “earth terrain” camera.

Scale: 1:435,000 (approx.)

Date: September 19, 1973

Location: The point X on the photo is 98ºW, 49ºN

Map sheets: (for Canada): 1:250,000 62G Brandon

62H Winnipeg

Notes

[i] “In 1973, Skylab, the first American space workshop, was launched and its astronauts took over 35,000 images of the earth with the Earth Resources Experiment Package (EREP) on board. The EREP included a six-camera multi-spectral array, a long focal length “earth terrain” camera, a 13-channel multi-spectral scanner, a pointable spectroradiometer, and two microwave systems. The EREP experiments were the first to demonstrate the complementary nature of photography and electronic imaging from space.”  Lillesand, T.L. and Kiefer, R.W. Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation (Third Edition) New York: Wiley, 1994,429.



14.3: Radar Image of Agricultural Southwestern Manitoba

This image is different from those in figures 14.1 and 14.2 in that it has been created using much longer wavelength radiation in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is a C band (3.75-7.5 cm) radar image obtained by the ERS-1 satellite.[i] Radar is an active sensing system; that is, radiation is emitted from a source, and reflected radiation is recorded. This means, of course, that the wavelength of the radiation can be determined. Radar images have some advantages over photographs and other images using the visible part of the spectrum. In the first place they are not dependent on light and can therefore be obtained at any time of day. Also, if the correct wavelength is used, radar can penetrate cloud and atmospheric pollution. Disadvantages included usually reduced resolution, and the fact that for beginners interpretation is more difficult because there is a tendency to regard the images as photographs.

Some general principles apply to the interpretation of radar images. Rough surfaces reflect a lot of radiation and are therefore light-toned on the image, whereas smooth surfaces reflect little and are therefore dark. Soils and crops with high moisture content have a high reflectivity and are light-toned, whereas dry surfaces reflect little and are dark-toned. Also surfaces that are inclined towards the radiation source reflect a lot and are light-toned, whereas flat surfaces or those inclined away from the radar source reflect little and are dark. Also the shape and orientation of objects will have an effect on their reflectance. A particularly bright response results from a corner reflector in which case adjacent smooth surfaces cause a double reflection that produces a high return and thus a very bright area.

These principles are illustrated on figure 14.3. The Brandon Hills 1 are light-toned because they are wooded, thus presenting a rough surface, whereas Oak Lake 2, Plum Lakes 3, and that part of Whitewater Lake 4 containing water at the time have smooth surfaces and are dark-toned. The light-toned circular features in the east 5 are center-pivot irrigation areas that have high moisture content. Surrounding these are dark-toned areas 6 with non-irrigated crops that are relatively dry and therefore dark-toned. Most of the center-pivot irrigation systems cover a quarter section, but one covers a whole section 7. North of these is a light-toned area—this is Douglas Marsh 8, a wetland with grasses, sedges, cattails and rushes, the route of a former Assiniboine River distributary. It is light-toned because of the roughness of the vegetation surface and its high moisture content.

The main physical features of southwest Manitoba can be identified as a result of the influences mentioned. The Assiniboine Valley 9 and the Little Saskatchewan Valley 10 with rough wooded valley sides are light-toned. Between these two rivers 11 and in a loop of the Assiniboine 12 are two dark-toned dry areas. Southeast of the latter 13 and further south 14 are a former courses of the Assiniboine. In the south the course of the Souris River can be identified. It is noticeable in the southwest corner 15 where the valley floor is light-toned probably because it is grass-covered, and further east 16 the valley can be picked out probably because it lies across the radiation direction. The part of the river below the elbow of capture 17 is light-toned because of wooded valley walls. Southwest of the Souris is the dark-toned Dand Spillway 18 containing a succession of lakes.

East of the irrigated area are medium-light tones of the dunes on the Assiniboine Delta 19, representing a balance between a rough grass-covered surface producing light tones and dry conditions producing dark tones. A similar situation can be seen surrounding Oak Lake—grass-covered surfaces are light-toned 20 whereas flatter dry areas are dark 21.

The extent of agricultural land is indicated by the distribution of rectangular fields in tones ranging from almost black to almost white. The light-toned fields 22 have a rough surface—possibly stubble as this image was obtained on September 17—or wet conditions, or a combination of both. Dark-toned fields 23 are smooth—they do not have a crop covering or they are dry. It is noticeable that there is a greater number of light-toned fields in the south than in the north, possibly because the harvest is more advanced and there are more stubble fields.

Apart from agriculture the only cultural features visible are Brandon 24, light-toned because of many corner reflections and the Trans-Canada Highway 25, dark because it has a smooth surface.

Figure 14.3: Radar Image of Agricultural Southwestern Manitoba

Figure 14.3: Radar Image of Agricultural Southwestern Manitoba

Figure 14.3

ERS-1 Image (Band radar, wave length 3.75-7.5 cm)

Scale: 1:500,000 (approx.)

Date: September 17, 1991

Location of centre point X: Lat 49º 37'N. 100º 13'W (approx.)

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

62 G Brandon

62J Neepawa

62K Riding Mountain

Notes

[i] The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its first remote sensing satellite ERS-1, on July 17, 1991. The satellite was in a sun synchronous orbit (i.e. it came over places at the same time each day) at an inclination of 98.5º and was at a nominal altitude of 785 km.


 


14.4: High Level Air Photo of Southwest Manitoba Between Souris and Griswold

This is the first photograph taken from a plane in this chapter on agriculture; the first three images were all obtained from satellites. Nevertheless, this is a high-level photo with a resulting small scale. It shows the influence of minor landforms and consequently soil variations on land use.

For reference, the Trans-Canada Highway 1 crosses the northwest corner of the photo, as does the CP railway line 2 with the hamlet of Griswold 3 between the two. PTH 21 4 runs southward near Griswold. Souris 5, with PR 250 6 running north from it, is located in the southeast corner.

Plum Creek 7 meanders across the southern edge of the area with marshy land on either side of it. To the north are the Souris Sand Hills 8 that are mainly wooded (dark-toned). The sand of which they are composed was deposited into Glacial Lake Hind and then blown into dunes when the lake retreated. North again is a ground moraine area exhibiting the characteristic pockmarked appearance 9. Although it is not ideally suited for large-scale grain farming, most of the area has been cleared for agriculture. Light-toned fields 10 have grain crops in them that are close to harvesting or already have been harvested. Some of the dark-toned fields 11 have been left fallow. The linear dark-toned area in the northwest 12 is Alexander Marsh, an old high-level course of the Assiniboine River.

Two linear features can be seen in the south; both are more obvious when they cross woodland. Running northeast/southwest 13 is a power transmission line and trending west-northwest/east-southeast is the route of an oil pipeline 14. Towards the north is the CN railway line 15.

This agricultural area is very sparsely settled with the only two nucleated settlements being Souris and Griswold near the southeast and northwest corners.

Figure 14.4: High Level Air Photo of Southwest Manitoba Between Souris and Griswold

Figure 14.4: High Level Air Photo of Southwest Manitoba Between Souris and Griswold

Figure 14.4

Vertical air photograph: A21666-102

Flight height: 22,420 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 85.611 mm

Scale 1:81,000 (approx.)

Date: July 21, 1970

Location: Townships 8 and 9; Ranges: 21, 22, and 23WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

                    1:50,000 62F/9 Souris

                                   6F/16 Alexander


14.5: An Agricultural Area Northwest of Dauphin

The commonly held perception of Manitoba as a land with endless fields of grain with little variation is grossly inaccurate as demonstrated by this photo. This relatively flat land is located east of the foot of Duck Mountain (off the photo to the west). There is no topographic hindrance to division of the land into sections 1 and quarter sections 2, both of which are easily identified. Using tonal variations as a basis for identification, it is seen that most quarter sections are divided into several fields, as many as 10 in one case 3. This area is near the highest levels reached by Lake Agassiz, and several indistinct strandlines—some of which influence field shapes 4—can be seen. Soils are on the whole good enough for arable agriculture, but a significant percentage of dark-toned woodland remains 5. Variations in tone within cropped fields 6 indicate different crop types, or different stages of the same crop. Fallow fields have a characteristically mottled texture 7.

The eastward-flowing woodland-fringed Valley River 8, with several small abandoned channels 9, traverses the southern part. The small settlement of Valley River 10 is located near where PR 362 11 crosses the river.

The photo shows the border between townships 26 and 27 12. This is the boundary between the first and second systems of the DLS with a minor jog between the two systems resulting in a bend on PR 362 13.

Figure 14.5: The Agricultural Area Northwest of Dauphin

Figure 14.5: The Agricultural Area Northwest of Dauphin

Figure 14.5

Vertical air photograph: A24741-68

Flight height: 26,700 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.456 mm

Scale: 1:52,000 (approx.)

Date: July 12, 1977

Location: Townships 26 and 27; Ranges 19 and 20W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62N Duck Mountain

                    1:50,000 62N/1 Dauphin

                                   62N/8 Sifton


14.6: Agricultural Fields on the Red River Plain

This large-scale photo shows agricultural fields on the upper part of the Lake Agassiz Plain southwest of Carman. Two branches of Tobacco Creek 1, which drains east to the Morris River and ultimately to the Red, join in the centre of the area. Other minor creeks 2, as well as a sharply defined artificial ditch 3, drain to these. Most of the land is devoted to agriculture, but some woodland is preserved along the creek courses 4 as well as in the northwest section 5.

Parts of nine sections can be seen, and seven of them are divided into quarter sections; in the other two 6 the land division system is disrupted by the existence of the north branch of Tobacco Creek. Despite the fact that the land is generally flat minor variations of relief are picked out by tonal differences. Dark patches represent low-lying wet areas 7, and in some places soil erosion has even occurred 8.

The photograph was taken in late July when most of the grain crops were probably still green, resulting in dark tones. Within quarter sections fields supporting different crops or crops at different stages are identified by slight tonal variations 9. In the southeast one very light-toned field 10 is probably a grain crop that has changed from green to yellow/beige.

Settlement within the area is sparse, with only seven farmsteads 11 visible. One gravel road crosses the area trending east/west 12 with a bend to bypass Tobacco Creek 13.

Figure 14.6: Agricultural Fields on the Red River Plain

Figure 14.6: Agricultural Fields on the Red River Plain

Figure 14.6

Vertical air photograph: A16183-5

Flight height: 10,500 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.63 m

Scale: 1:18,600 (approx.)

Date: July 22, 1958

Location: Township 5; Ranges 5W1 and 6W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/8 Miami


14.7: Agricultural Fields West of Portage la Prairie

Shown on this large-scale photograph are parts of nine sections. Draining northeast across the area is the wooded (dark-toned) course of Willow Bend Creek 1, which eventually enters Lake Manitoba, off the photo to the north. A small tributary enters from the southeast 2, and another small stream drains north to join it 3. The orientation of fields in the northeast 4 suggests the influence of strandlines left as Lake Manitoba retreated northeastward to achieve its present size.

The photo was taken in early September at which time harvesting of grain crops was well underway. In most of the light-toned fields swath lines can be seen exhibiting the characteristic pattern 5. The line down the middle and the lines out to the corners are located where the combine turned. Some fields have been left fallow 6. In these and in some cropped fields dark-toned wet patches 7 indicate recent heavy precipitation that may have delayed the harvest. The area is sparsely populated; nine farmsteads 8 can be seen in an area of about six square miles. Crossing the area in the south are three transport lines; the CN railway line 9, the CP line 10, and the Trans-Canada Highway 11 between them. On this old photo the highway is not divided, and the important junction between it and PTH16 12 (The Yellowhead Route) has only one building near it 13.

 

Figure 14.7: Agricultural Fields West of Portage la Prairie

Figure 14.7: Agricultural Fields West of Portage la Prairie

Figure 14.7

Vertical air photograph: A18597-161

Flight height: 9,500 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.13 mm

Scale: 1:17,400 (approx.)

Date: September 5, 1964

Location: Township 4; Range 8WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/15 MacGregor

                                   62G/16 Portage la Prairie

 


14.8: Harvesting Patterns in Southern Manitoba

This photograph taken at harvest time shows the usefulness of tone and pattern in detecting land use and the stage of the harvest. Several fields have been left fallow or have had the crop removed from them 1. These show the characteristic mottled appearance resulting from light-toned crests that have had dark-coloured soil constituents removed by rain splash and wind erosion. In several other fields the grain crop has been swathed, that is, cut and left in rows that exhibit the characteristic cutting pattern 2 with variations due to field shape 3. Other fields have been combined; the swath has been picked up and thrashed to remove the grain with straw being fed out from the back of the combine. The resulting rows of straw are wider 4 and generally lighter-toned 5 than swaths. In one field 6 the swath has been partly combined; in fact the location of the combine can be seen 7.

This is an area of ground moraine topography with a hummocky surface and several small sloughs 8. A small intermittent stream with wooded banks 9 drains to the south.

Shown here are four full sections with gravel roads along most of the section lines 10. In two cases the division into quarter section is clear 11. The area is sparsely settled with only five farmsteads 12 in an area of just over four square miles. A railway line 13 cuts across the northeast corner.

 

Figure 14.8: Harvesting Patterns in Southern Manitoba

Figure 14.8: Harvesting Patterns in Southern Manitoba

Figure 14.8

Vertical air photograph: A18024-204

Flight height:   lens focal length:

Scale: 1:15,100 (approx.)

Date:

Location:

Map sheets: 

 


14.9: Harvesting Patterns North of Neepawa

As on the previous photo variations in tone and pattern reflect different stages in processing the crop at harvest time. The area is located east of Riding Mountain with small streams 1 draining away from highland to the west. Several minor Lake Agassiz strandlines are identified on the basis of tone with minor ridge crests being light-toned 2.

Very dark-toned fields 3 have been cultivated, that is; turned over in preparation for next year’s crop. Several fields exhibit the narrow rows 4 typical of swathing, whereas others have wider lighter-toned rows typical of combining 5. In some cases combining is partly completed resulting in fields with some narrow and some wide rows 6, and in one case the combine can be seen 7.

Section lines 8, sometimes followed by gravel roads 9, can be seen as can quarter section lines 10 in some instances. Although settlement is sparse, there are more farmsteads 11—13 in about five square miles—than on figure 14.8. PTH 5 12 and a railway line 13 run north/south through the area. A spur line runs west from the rail line 14. A single grain elevator 15 (identified by its shadow) is located on a siding on the main line with three rail cars on it 16.

Figure 14.9: Harvesting Patterns North of Neepawa

Figure 14.9: Harvesting Patterns North of Neepawa

Figure 14.9

Vertical air photograph: A18024-10

Flight height:  lens focal length:

Scale: 1:16,000 (approx.)

Date:

Location: Township 15; Range 15W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa

                    1:50,000 62J/5 Clanwilliam


14.10: Harvesting Patterns on Ground Moraine North of Rapid City

This photo of part of the Minnedosa “pothole” country shows the influence of minor relief features on grain farming. Minor depressions (sloughs), often water-filled 1, inhibit crop growth and harvesting; in an area of less than a half section, bounded by a dashed line 2, there are 45 non-cropped areas (water, marsh, wetland). The distribution of depressions influences the harvesting procedure, resulting in complicated swath line patterns 3.

As on the previous two photos, some land is fallow (mottled tone with light crests 4); some has been swathed (thin rows 5); some has been combined with wide light-toned rows 6 covering almost all the ground surface in some cases 7; and some has been cultivated in preparation for next year’s crop (dark-toned areas 8). The existence of dugouts in fields 9 suggests that some livestock farming is practised in the area.

Section lines, in one case followed by a gravel road 10, can be picked out, but because of the complicated relief, quarter section lines are not so obvious except perhaps in one section 11. Seven farmsteads 12 can be counted in this area of approximately four square miles.

Figure 14.10: Harvesting Patterns on Ground Moraine North of Rapid City

Figure 14.10: Harvesting Patterns on Ground Moraine North of Rapid City

Figure 14.10

Vertical air photograph: A11618-168

Flight height: 12,300 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches

Scale: 1:15,100 (approx.)

Date: September 1, 1948

Location: Township 14; Range 19WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

                    1:50,000 62K/1 Rivers


14.11: Haylands Near Oak Lake

Oak Lake and Plum Lakes are glacial lake remnants in the area formerly occupied by glacial Lake Hind. Land southwest of Oak Lake is very flat with a surface close to the water table resulting in marshy areas 1.

A dike runs along the shore of the lake 2 with a narrow waterway behind 3. Although none of this area is actively cropped for cereals, a slight drop in water table has allowed the land to be used for hay. Lines followed by equipment used when cutting and assembling the hay can be seen criss-crossing the area 4. Small black dots 5 are hay piles throwing shadows due north, indicating that the photo was taken near noon.

Section 6 and quarter section lines 7 are visible, but because of the wet surface there are no settlements in the area.

Figure 14.11: Haylands Near Oak Lake

Figure 14.11: Haylands Near Oak Lake

Figure 14.11

Vertical air photograph: A230287-23

Flight height: 9,330 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.7 mm

Scale: 1:15,500 (approx.)

Date: October 30, 1967

Location: Township 8; Range 25 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

                    1:50,000 62F/10 Pipestone


14.12: Field Patterns Near Eden

The photo illustrates the influence of minor relief features on the distribution of agricultural land and agricultural practices. To the west is a minor strandline 1that has been left wooded. A small stream in the northwest 2 has been channeled into a ditch in the centre and east 3. The light tone of some of the trees 4—probably aspen (Populus tremuloides)—in a wooded area in the north suggests the photo was taken in the fall. The strandline influences the shape of nearby fields that tend to be long and narrow with a north-northwest/south-southeast trend 5. In fallow fields bald hillcrests 6 delineate other minor strandlines. Land in the western part of the photo appears flat, but there is enough eastward slope to result in soil erosion 7. Perhaps the general north/south orientation of fields is an attempt to control the erosion. In the eastern part of the photo, fields are more regular in shape, if anything, with an east/west alignment 8.

There is no equivalent on this photo to the potholes (sloughs) in figure 14.10, but circular dark-toned areas can be seen in several fields 9. These are bigger than the straw piles in figure 14.11 and are probably stone piles.

The same range of activities can be seen here as in figures 14.8, 14.9, and 14.10. Some fields are fallow (very dark-toned) 10; others have been swathed (light-toned with narrow rows 11); others have been combined (light-toned with wider rows 12); and some are partly swathed and partly combined 13). A field in the northeast has a crosshatched pattern 14 which I cannot explain.

Although most of the area is devoted to crop growth, there are only four farmsteads 15 in the area of about five square miles. One of them has a very well developed shelterbelt with trees on three sides with the fourth open to the road 16.

Figure 14.12: Field Patterns Near Eden

Figure 14.12: Field Patterns Near Eden

Figure 14.12

Vertical air photograph: A18658-126

Flight height: 11,200 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.13 mm

Scale: 16,700 (approx.)

Date: September 20, 1964

Location: Township 15; Ranges 14 and 15WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa

                    1:50,000 62J/6 Arden


14.13: Distribution of Farmland in the Little Saskatchewan Valley

The Little Saskatchewan River meanders from northwest to southeast across the area 1. The southwest side of the valley is heavily wooded 2 with generally flat Minnedosa “pothole” country to the south 3. The north wall of the Little Saskatchewan Valley has a deep unexplained embayment 4—surely the tiny, partly channelized 5 stream that drains to the Little Saskatchewan is too small to create something so large. The north valley wall is wooded 6, but it is less uniform than on the south wall. This is a result of the dry microclimate on the south-facing slopes. More woodland exists along the river channel 7.

On the pothole country to the southwest most of the land is cleared for agriculture, as is the floor of the valley away from the channel. Also a small terrace on the east wall of the valley has been cleared 8.

The absence of light-toned fields suggests that the photo was not taken at harvest time (in contrast to figures 14.7, 14.8, 14.9, 14.10, and 14.12). Fallow fields are generally dark-toned 9, but some fields that are not quite so dark 10 probably carry grain crops that are still green.

Some areas are subject to severe soil erosion, as for example along the edge of a low terrace north of the Little Saskatchewan where erosion has reached the gullying stage 11. Further east a small gully has been eroded 12 and the eroded material deposited in an alluvial fan 13. Further north several small channels can be seen in the fields 14. Although the erosion seems severe, it has been controlled because the area is still cropped, often with a combination of flax and canola resulting in a spectacular summer display of pale blue and yellow.[i]

PTH 10 between Brandon and Dauphin crosses the area from south to north 15. The varied nature of the topography makes it difficult to discern sections and quarter sections, but one quarter section can be seen in the northeast 16. A total of seven farmsteads can be seen 17.

Figure 14.13: Distribution of Farmland in the Little Saskatchewan Valley

Figure 14.13: Distribution of Farmland in the Little Saskatchewan Valley

Figure 14.13

Vertical air photograph: A16064-11

Flight height: 9,430 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.47 mm

Scale: 1:19,000 (approx.)

Date: July 10, 1956

Location: Township 16; Range 18 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa

                    1:50,000 62J/5 Clanwilliam

Notes

 

[i] See Welsted, J., Everitt, J., and Stadel, C. eds. The Geography of Manitoba: Its Land and Its People. Winnipeg: The University of Manitoba Press, 1996, plate 14.

 



14.14: Stubble Burning Near Minnedosa

This photo shows part of the Minnedosa “pothole” country west of Minnedosa. Numerous depressions, some water-filled (the largest is St. James Slough) 1and others covered by marshes 2 and trees 3 make large-scale grain farming with large machinery difficult.

Much of the land has been left fallow 4, or crops have been removed. These areas are dark-toned with light-toned crests 5. Harvesting has been completed, leaving behind various pieces of photo evidence. In the east, lines along which stooks were deposited can be seen 6 as well as straw piles 7. This very old method of harvesting is no longer practised. Prevailing northwest winds have blown loose straw to the southeast, resulting in light-toned areas near the piles 8. Fields in the west are very light-toned 9, resulting from wide rows of straw left after combining.

At the time the photo was taken, a common practice was to burn stubble in the fall to make it easier to work the land in the spring. Irregular dark-toned patches resulting from stubble burning can be seen 10.

Section 11 and quarter section lines 12 can be seen with PR 355 13—almost flooded at this time 14—following a section line, the northern boundary of Township 14. This is a correction line with a westward jog of almost a mile (1.6 km) 15.

Figure 14.14: Stubble Burning Near Minnedosa

Figure 14.14: Stubble Burning Near Minnedosa

Figure 14.14

Vertical air photograph: A11735-31

Flight height: 9420 feet; lens focal length: 6.3 inches

Scale: 1:15,100 (approx.)

Date: September 30, 1948

Location: Township 14 and 15, Range 20W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

1:50,000 62K/1 Rivers

 


14.15: Harvesting Patterns West of Souris

On this fall photo the Souris River 1 runs from west to east. As is usual in southwestern Manitoba, section 2 and quarter section lines 3 can be seen with quarter sections divided into smaller fields 4 for planting of different crops. Even in this flat area with good soil, minor relief features have an effect on farming practices; for example two small gullies 5 separate fields, and a low berm 6 is the boundary of another field. As on previous photos uniformly dark fields have been left fallow 7, and somewhat lighter-toned fields 8 have carried a crop that has been completely removed. In late September most of the fields have been combined resulting in wide rows of straw and light-toned fields 9. However, at least one field has narrow rows associated with swathing 10, and in two fields combining is partly completed 11, in fact a combine can be seen in one of them 12. Stubble burning has occurred in two fields 13 and cultivation in preparation for next year’s crop in two others 14, with in one case a very haphazard patterns 15.

There are eight farmsteads 16 in this area of about six square miles, several with well-developed shelterbelts to north and west 17. The CP railway line 18 runs across the northern part with a protection fence to the north of it 19, fortified by trees near a farm 20.

Figure 14.15: Harvesting Patterns West of Souris

Figure 14.15: Harvesting Patterns West of Souris

Figure 14.15

Vertical air photograph: A20841-73

Flight height: 10,300 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches

Scale: 1:18,200 (approx.)

Date: September 29, 1968

Location: Township 7; Range 22 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

                    1:50,000 62F/9 Souris

 


14.16: Stages of Harvesting North of Minnedosa

The Little Saskatchewan River 1 flows from northwest to southeast across an area of ground moraine topography. In this fall photo fields exhibit various stages of harvesting. In several fields the crop has been cut and left on the ground in thin swathed rows 2. The fields exhibit the typical pattern of rows left by the swather; that is or variations depending on the shape of the field 3. In other fields the swathed rows have been combined, resulting in wider rows of straw 4 which sometimes cover almost all the land surface resulting in a very light tone 5. In two cases fields have been partly swathed 6 and in both cases two machines doing the swathing can be seen 7. In another case 8 a field has been partly combined; in this case a combine and a smaller truck that receives the grain can be seen 9.

Figure 14.16: Stages of Harvesting North of Minnedosa

Figure 14.16: Stages of Harvesting North of Minnedosa

Figure 14.16

Vertical air photograph: A18624-8

Flight height: 9500 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches

Scale: 1:15,400 (approx.)

Date: September 11, 1964

Location: Township 15; Range 18WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa

                    1:50,000 62J/5 Clanwilliam

 


14.17: Reclaimed Agricultural Land Southwest of The Pas

The photograph shows part of the Pasquia settlement where dikes 1 have been built on part of the Saskatchewan Delta and the reclaimed land surveyed into lots for agricultural use, the furthest north in Manitoba that agriculture is practised.

In the north is the wide, light-toned, sediment-laden Saskatchewan River 2 flowing eastward towards Lake Winnipeg. The darker-toned Carrot River 3 that in turn is joined, at a controlled entrance 4, by the Birch River 5, joins it from the southwest. The Pasquia River 6 flows into the Saskatchewan a little further east, and an artificial drainage channel 7 from the southwest joins it.

Land between the Carrot River and the Pasquia River has been drained and reclaimed for agriculture. Although some square fields can be seen 8, the land division system is not the DLS system seen on many previous photos. Nor is it a true long lot system, although some land near the Carrot River 9 seems to follow this system.[i]

Fields in the reclaimed area have various covers. Some fields are fallow (very dark-toned) 10, others have crops that are still green (not quite so dark-toned) 11, and in others grain that has turned colour is being grown (light-toned) 12. Land north of the Carrot River is covered by marshland 13 with abandoned stream channels visible in several places 14.

PR 283 15 parallels the Carrot River and enters The Pas 16 from the west. North of the Saskatchewan River are First Nations Reserves 17. Most of the reclaimed land is devoid of settlement, but some farmsteads can be seen near the edges 18.

Figure 14.17: Reclaimed Agricultural Land Southwest of The Pas

Figure 14.17: Reclaimed Agricultural Land Southwest of The Pas

Figure 14.17

Vertical air photograph: MH 98919001-183

Flight height: 31,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 153.233 mm

Scale: 1:60,000 (approx.)

Date: August 29, 1998

Location: Township 55 and 56; Range 26 and 27W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 63F The Pas

                    1:50,000 63F/14 The Pas

Notes

[i] For detail of survey patterns in this area see Warkentin, J. and Ruggles, R. I. Historical Atlas of Manitoba. Winnipeg: Manitoba Historical Society, 1970 figure 169, 350.


 


14.18: Reclaimed Slough East of Somerset

This photograph shows part of the end moraine covering Pembina Mountain. In general the surface is hummocky with large sloughs often covering a quarter section, many of which are now intermittent. On the photo a large slough covering about half a section has been reclaimed for agriculture 1. Field boundaries 2 can be seen within the reclaimed area. The corner of another slough—still with water in it—can be seen in the southeast 3. A drainage channel, part of the headwaters of Cypress River, drains north 4 then west 5.

Most of the land is cropped except for some woodland around the reclaimed slough 6, along the drainage channel 7, and in a few other areas 8. Despite the relative flatness of the area, some soil erosion can be seen 9. The existence of many stone piles in the northeast 10 suggests that although the land is good for arable farming, it is not perfect.

Gravel roads follow section lines 11, and a railway line 12 cuts across the northeast corner. There are eight farmsteads 13 in this area of about six square miles.

Figure 14.18: Reclaimed Slough East of Somerset

Figure 14.18: Reclaimed Slough East of Somerset

Figure 14.18

Vertical air photograph: A16182-202

Flight height: 10,050 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.4 mm

Scale: 1:17,000 (approx.)

Date: July 22, 1958

Location: Township 5; Range 9W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/7 Somerset


14.19: Old Harvesting Techniques Near Treesbank

The deep, wooded valley of the northward-flowing Souris River 1 can be seen in the west. The CP railway line 2 crosses the Souris in the southeast corner.

Most of the land east of the Souris has been cleared for agriculture except for some wooded, poorly defined drainage channels 3. The fact that some of the trees (probably aspen Populus tremuloides) are light-toned 4 indicates that the photo was taken in the fall—aspen turn to a delicate yellow in fall.

Fields are in different stages. In many cases lines along which stooks were placed can be seen 5 along with large straw piles 6. Loose straw has been blown from the piles in a generally southward direction 7. Another field that has been combined 8 has had some of the remaining stubble burned 9. In other fields there is no indication of a crop 10 and one—very dark-toned—11 has been cultivated in preparation for next year’s crop.

Although section lines can be seen 12, there are no gravel roads, and only two farmsteads 13 can be seen in the area of about six square miles.

Figure 14.19: Old Harvesting Techniques Near Treesbank

Figure 14.19: Old Harvesting Techniques Near Treesbank

Figure 14.19

Vertical air photograph: A11124-16

Flight height: 12,400 feet; lens focal length: 8 inches

Scale: 1:17,000 (approx.)

Date: October 4, 1947

Location: Township 7; Range 16W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/12 Wawanesa


14.20: Dryland Farming Near Lyleton

This area in the extreme southwest of Manitoba has a dry climate with only about 450 mm (17.7 inches) of precipitation per year, 20-25 percent of which falls as snow. It is flat and open to the prevailing northwest winds. As a result crop farming is marginal.

Indistinct drainage channels 1 lead to the northeast; eventually to Gainsborough Creek that flows to the Souris River. Patches of woodland 2 and scrubland 3 together with rough land 4 along the stream channels reduce the area of cropped land. However, some fields have been cropped 5, and some are left fallow 6. One field—very dark-toned—is being cultivated 7 in preparation for next year’s crop.

In this dry environment dugouts are a prominent feature of the landscape; those in the middle of fields 8 are for livestock use, but those near farmsteads 9 are for domestic use. Farmsteads are few; only five 10 are located in this area of about six square miles. Most have well-developed shelterbelts 11.

PTH 83 runs north/south along the eastern edge 12 and the CP line 13, which ends at Lyleton just off the photo to the west, runs east/west. A single grain elevator (identified from its shadow shape) exists at Cameron 14.

Figure 14.20: Dryland Farming Near Lyleton

Figure 14.20: Dryland Farming Near Lyleton

Figure 14.20

Vertical air photograph: A16390-145

Flight height: 10,050 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.4 mm

Scale 1:18,600 (approx.)

Date: October 16, 1958

Location: Townships 1 and 2; Range 27W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

                    1:50,000 62F/3 Gainsborough


14.21: Field Shelterbelts Near Lyleton

During the drought of the 1930s this dry area of southwest Manitoba was subject to severe soil erosion. The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) was established to deal with this and other farm problems. One result was the planting of field shelterbelts in severely affected areas. “A field shelter belt association was established in the Lyleton district in southwest Manitoba in 1936, and planting began the next year…. In 1952 the project covered 72 square miles, and included over 100 participants with 303 miles of hedges.”[i]

This high-level photo shows the density of belts in townships 1 and 2, range 28W1 around Lyleton 1. The belts harmonize with the DLS, trending east/west 2 or north/south 3. The photograph straddles the U.S.A./Canada border 4. Although essentially the same land division system exists on either side of the border, the two systems do not coincide exactly. In the extreme north of North Dakota is a tier of part sections 5, and north/south section lines are not continuous at the border 6 resulting in a jog on the north/south PR 256 7. Two small creeks traverse the area from west to east; Antler Creek in the south 8 is the more prominent of the two because of its dark-toned wooded banks. This creek and Gainsborough Creek 9 in the north flow east to the Souris (off the photo). In the northwest is the typical mottled tone of ground moraine topography 10. Gravel roads follow some section lines 11, and a CP spur line that finishes just west of Lyleton 12 can be seen in the east.

Figure 14.21: Field Shelterbelts Near Lyleton

Figure 14.21: Field Shelterbelts Near Lyleton

Figure 14.21

Vertical air photograph: A21821-33

Flight height: 24,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 85.55 mm

Scale: 1:84,000 (approx.)

Date: August 10, 1970

Location: Townships 1 and 2; Ranges 28W1 and 29W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

                    1:50,000 62F/3 Gainsborough

Notes

[i] Warkentin, J. and Ruggles, R. I., op. cit.,1990, 356. Figure 174 is a map of the shelterbelts near Lyleton.



14.22: Irrigation on the Assiniboine Delta, East of Brandon

This near real-colour satellite image shows part of the upper Assiniboine Delta east of Brandon. The Assiniboine River 1 cuts across the area from northwest to southeast. Its valley sides are covered by deciduous woodland (green) especially the northeast side 2. Spring sapping has caused northeast retreat of the valley wall at Wiggle Springs 3. The Little Souris River 4 joins the main river from the west with the Spring Valley Hutterite Colony 5 located near the junction. Land southwest of the Assiniboine has a definite northwest/southeast lineation, with wet low-lying areas (green) 6 being wooded and slightly higher areas being cleared for agriculture 7. The latter represent poorly developed very high-level Lake Agassiz strandlines.

The most obvious features northwest of the Assiniboine are circles 8 representing areas on which centre-pivot irrigation is being practised with water derived from the Assiniboine Delta. A central supply well supplies water that is sent into pipes on wheels that rotate about the pivot spraying water over the cropped areas. Speed of rotation and water dispersal can be adjusted to suit crop requirements. In this area the most common crop is potatoes, as they favour the uniformly textured sandy soils. Quarter sections 9, half sections 10, and whole sections 11 can be irrigated from a single central well. Uniform colour within the cropped area indicates that the same crop is being grown throughout. However, some colour variations 12 may indicate different crops or different stages of development of the same crop.

Almost black areas in the northwest 13 and east 14 are sewage lagoons for Brandon (just off the image to the west) and Shilo (just off the image to the east) respectively. Gravel roads mainly follow section lines 15, but the northwest/southeast linear feature in the northeast 16 is PR 340 leading to Shilo. A gas pipeline parallels the road.

Figure 14.22: Irrigation on the Assiniboine Delta East of Brandon

Figure 14.22:  Irrigation on the Assiniboine Delta East of Brandon

Figure 14.22

Satellite image obtained from Info Mine Inc.

Scale: 1:94,000 (approx.)

Date: September 27, 2005

Location: Townships 10 and 11; Ranges 18 and 19 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/13 Brandon


14.23: Irrigation Systems Near Douglas

Irrigation in Manitoba is not as prevalent as it is in Alberta and Saskatchewan because in the largest part of Agro-Manitoba, most of the time there is enough precipitation for the crops grown. However, in recent years with crop diversification irrigation has become more common, particularly on the Assiniboine Delta where there is a good assured ground water source. Here, potatoes are the crop most commonly gown under irrigation using mainly the center-pivot irrigation system.

Shown here is part of the Assiniboine Delta surface north of Shilo. The divided Trans-Canada Highway 1 crosses the centre of the area. A truck 2 and a car 3 can be seen proceeding west on the northern lane, and two trucks 4 and a car 5 can be seen proceeding east on the southern lane, a remarkably low density of traffic compared with a similar highway in southern Ontario. South of the highway is the CP railway line 6.

North of the Trans-Canada Highway are two centre-pivot systems; one covers most of a quarter section 7 and the other most of a half section 8. A ground water pump is located at the center, and a distribution pipe leads out from this—seen best in the case of the half section system 9. A result of these operations is a circular or semi-circular field shape. In another field southwest of the quarter section operation, a feed pipe can be seen 10 leading out from a ground water supply 11, but there is not a circular-shaped field.

The photograph was taken in the spring so crops will just have been planted. Consequently, many of the fields are the characteristic dark tone of bare fields. In several cases fields are very dark-toned where cultivation has occurred 12. In the case of the half section operation, the fields display five different tones and textures indicating different uses.

The settlement in the northwest is probably a Hutterite Colony 13 with barns, storage sheds, and residential buildings. In addition four farmsteads occur near the Trans-Canada Highway 14.

Figure 14.23: Irrigation Systems Near Douglas

Figure 14.23: Irrigation Systems Near Douglas

Figure 14.23

Vertical air photograph: MB96001-252

Flight height: 7,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.098 mm

Scale: 1:12,000 (approx.)

Date: May 27, 1996

Location: Township 11; Range 16W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/13 Brandon


14.24: Field Patterns and Farming Activity East of Portage la Prairie

A combination of good soils, greater precipitation than the extreme southwest of the province, plus the availability of irrigation water both from surface and underground sources results in more intensive farming here than in the southwest.

The influence of the long lot system is clearly seen along the eastward-flowing Assiniboine River 1, particularly to the north. Here the system results in a series of narrow strips 2 running back from the river. Superimposed on these are very small fields 3 in which intensive farming of fruits—especially strawberries[i]—and vegetables occurs, often using irrigation water taken from the Assiniboine River.[ii] Also north of the river irrigation water is obtained from palaeochannels of the Assiniboine 4.

South of the river very small fields can be observed at several locations 5 suggesting intensive fruit or vegetable farming under irrigation, sometimes with the Assiniboine as source. However, during the early 1980s diversions of water into the Elm 6, La Salle 7, and Mill rivers (off photo to the northeast) were developed to stabilize stream flows.[iii] Small fields along the Elm River 8 and La Salle River 9 probably are given over to irrigated fruits and vegetables. Two Hutterite colonies can be seen, one on the La Salle River 10 and one on Scott Coulee 11 near the eastern edge of the photo.

In the south the influence of the DLS on field size and shape can be seen, but even here sections are divided into several fields 12, in marked contrast to the situation in figure 14.20 in the dry southwest. The correction line between townships 10 and 11 is indicated by road jogs 13. Although the land here is very flat, evidence of soil erosion can be seen in at least one location 14.

Figure 14.24: Field Patterns and Farming Activity East of Portage la Prairie

Figure 14.24: Field Patterns and Farming Activity East of Portage la Prairie

 

Figure 14.24

Vertical air photograph: MB 89021-6-176

Flight height: 30,800 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.26 mm

Scale: 1:57,600 (approx.)

Date: August 7, 1989

Location: Townships 10, 11 and 12; Ranges 5 and 6 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/16 Portage la Prairie

 

Notes

[i] Portage la Prairie claims to be the strawberry capital of Canada.

[ii] Sawatsky, T. “Irrigation in the Central Manitoba Irrigation Association Region” in Irrigation in Manitoba: Past, Present and Future. ed. J. Welsted. Brandon: Canadian Water Resources Association, 1998, 15.

[iii] Sawatsky, T. op. cit. 1998, 16.


 


14.25: The Frank Skinner Arboretum North of Russell

The Shell River 1 meanders southward in the eastern part of the photo on its way to the Assiniboine. It has left behind several clearly defined river terraces 2. Much of the western part of the area is covered by ground moraine with indistinct north-northeast/south-southwest trending ridges with the characteristic mottled tones of ground moraine 3. In the west, much of the land has been cleared for agriculture, but there are numerous sloughs 4 and patches of woodland 5. Where agriculture is practised there are some large fields 6, but in some cases field shape is influenced by the topography 7.

In the southern part of sections 3 and 4, township 24, range 28WI are small fields, hedges, and patches of woodland 8. This is the Frank Skinner Arboretum. It was established by Frank Skinner, pioneer horticulturist, who, over decades, gathered and planted seeds from around the world and nurtured them to full maturity, despite a harsh prairie climate. “Today, this Provincial Historic Site contains nearly 250 plant species introduced to Manitoba and features the oldest, most extensive collection of trees and shrubs on the Canadian prairies.”[i] The north/south PTH 83 is located on the west 9.

Figure 14.25: The Frank Skinner Arboretum North of Russell

Figure 14.25: The Frank Skinner Arboretum North of Russell

Figure 14.25

Vertical air photograph: A15915-34

Flight height: 20,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.14 mm

Scale: 1:36,200 (approx.)

Date: October 17, 1957

Location: Township 23 and 24; Range 28 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62N Duck Mountain

                    1:50,000 62N/3 Roblin

Notes

[i] Senecal, C. Pelicans to Polar Bears-Watching Wildlife in Manitoba. Winnipeg: Heartland Publications, 1999, 198.



14.26: Infrared Photo of Agriculture Near Carberry

This large-scale image illustrates the usefulness of colour infrared photographs in the study of vegetation and agriculture. It shows clearly the influence of soil and drainage conditions on crop growth as well as the influence of farm practices on crops. The photo covers four complete quarter sections near Carberry as well as parts of quarter sections to the north, south, east, and west. To the south 1, west 2, and northwest 3 are areas of deciduous woodland—red with mottled texture and rounded shadows. Trees in the southeast are darker 4 and may be under some form of stress, possibly too little water. A light-toned gravel road 5 crosses the area from north to south and is joined by a gravel road from the east 6. Three groups of farm building can be seen 7, the two in the centre being protected by large north/south shelter belts 8 composed of deciduous trees, although a few coniferous trees are identifiable by their pointed shadows 9.

The mottled appearance of several fields 10 indicates that the area is underlain by sandy soils with variable water-retaining ability. Cropping is practised over much of the area with varying degrees of success. In this summer image most crops are at the mid-point of their growth cycle. For ease of identification letters are used to designate fields:

a)  the outer part of this field has been cut, probably for hay.

b)  this one shows variations in crop growth due to soil differences; higher dry areas support only a poor crop in areas that are yellowish in colour. In the northeast an area of darker red indicates a good crop with east/west rows 11.

The northeastern quarter section is divided into five north/south trending fields:

c)  the major variation in crop growth results from soil differences; higher dryer areas particularly in the south support only a thin crop.

d)  the bright red of this field indicates a healthy crop, but with poor patches (soil-related) in the north and south.

e)  the dark green of this field is indicative of fallow.

f)   the faint red colour indicates that there is a thin plant cover.

g)  this field is similar to d); a healthy crop is growing with north/south rows and a few poorer patches in the centre.

The southeastern quarter section is divided into three north/south trending fields.

h)  patches of poor growth in the south are soil-related, whereas in the centre and north pink flecks may result from the yellow blossoms of wild mustard that was missed during spraying operations

i)  this field displays three variations.[i]; pink north/south rows with gaps between them; probably a row crop of corn that has not yet closed allowing reflection from the soil between the rows;[ii] yellow/green patches in the north, south and east resulting from soil variations, probably higher, dryer areas supporting a poorer crop; and [iii] bright red circular patches are weeds, probably Canada Thistle.

j)  this field is similar to f). The red colour suggests a plant cover; also seen are lighter patches (higher, drier) and dark areas (lower, wetter).

The southwestern quarter section is divided into irregularly shaped fields, a function of topographic variations: 

k) and l) are essentially the same, a faint red indicating a thin plant cover interrupted by many whitish patches of higher, drier land with poor plant growth.

m)  this one exhibits the dark green indicative of fallow.

n)  the northernmost field is mainly bright red, similar to d). The crop is growing better in the centre than to the east and west where soil deficiencies result in poor growth.

o)  this is an irregularly shaped area between cropped fields, probably a belt that has been left in pasture.

Figure 14.26: Infrared Photo of Agriculture Near Carberry

Figure 14.26: Infrared Photo of Agriculture Near Carberry

 

Figure 14.26

Vertical colour infrared air photo by Prairie Agri Photo

Flight height: 7,200 feet a.s.l; lens focal length: 50 mm

Scale: 1:9,600 (approx.)

Date: 1979

Location: Township 10; Range 15 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/14 Carberry

 

Notes

[i] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman.

[ii] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman.

[iii] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman.



14.27: Agriculture Near Deerwood

This colour infrared photo shows one whole section of land (section 7, township 5, range 7WI) at the foot of Pembina Mountain near Deerwood. Light-toned gravel roads follow section lines to north 1, east 2, and south 3, and a gravel road 4 leads to a group of farm buildings 5 in the east. These are protected by shelterbelts of deciduous trees to the north and west 6. The southwestern quarter section—towards Pembina Mountain—is more hilly than the northeast. Some land in the south has been cleared for agriculture with irregularly shaped fields 7, but much of it remains as deciduous woodland 8 (red colour, mottled texture, rounded shadows). Fields in the flatter northeast quarter section are more regularly shaped.

For ease of identification letters are used to designate fields.

a), b), and c) these fields have been left fallow; dark green areas are low-lying and wetter, whereas light tones indicate higher, drier areas.

d), e), f), g), h), and i) are all similar in appearance: a patchy crop is growing on all of them. The light pink northeast/southwest streaks in field f) 9 are areas missed by crop treatment, possibly addition of fertilizer. Such misses used to occur in 1979 when the photo was taken, but would not happen now with modern GPS systems in place.

j), k), and l) exhibit rows of a cut crop; the circular red patches in l) 10 are probably weeds.

m) this large field is in pasture, an interpretation supported by the existence of dugouts (black) in the northwest 11 and centre 12.

n) the dark red indicates a healthy crop, probably a cereal, with a poor patch in the south 13.

o) the field exhibits the characteristic pattern of a field that has been cut.

p) is similar in general appearance to n), with some light pink streaks 14, missed during spraying. There is a distinct variation in this field; the western two-thirds has a much lower and less healthy plant population. This is often due to scleratina wilt that may occur with too tight a crop rotation.[i]

q) the light pink of this field is characteristic of sunflowers. The crop is tall, indicated by the shadow thrown along the western edge of the cut area 15.

r) a field in which some large areas 16 that are light pink have been missed during spraying. This is a remarkable example of sprayer miss. The plants giving the pink appearance are wild mustard. Properly used, a GPS guidance system would eliminate this problem.[ii]

s), t), and u) the three fields may be supporting the same crop but with different levels of success because of treatment. One field, t, seems to be the best, but even it has variations between north/south rows 17. This variation is more marked in u 18 and even more so in s 19 where there may have been some malfunction in seeding.

v) This large field shows one distinct line of stronger growth 20, probably a result of stronger soil fertility.[iii]

The ability of the interpreter to identify and explain the variations discussed enables the farmer to better plan sowing and treatment procedures and to plan for and cope with soil and drainage variations in fields.

Figure 14.27: Agriculture Near Deerwood

Figure 14.27: Agriculture Near Deerwood

Figure 14.27

Vertical colour infrared air photo (Prairie Agi Photo)

Flight height: 7,200 fee a.s.l.; lens focal length: 50 mm

Scale: 1:9,800 (approx.)

Date: July 27, 1979

Location: Section 7, Township 5, Range 7WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,00062G/8 Miami

Notes

[i] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman.

[ii] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman

[iii] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman


 


14.28: Agriculture Near a Large Slough in Southwest Manitoba

This large-scale colour infrared photo shows the whole of one section fringed by parts of other sections to north, south, east, and west. A light-coloured north/south gravel road 1 can be seen in the east with another gravel road leading off to the east 2. In the northwest another gravel road 3 leads to a group of farm buildings 4 protected by thick shelterbelts of deciduous trees to the north 5 and west 6.

Much of the western centre is occupied by a large slough 7. Water that reflects little infrared radiation appears black, but in the south are red swirls 8 caused by algae growth at, or close to, the water surface. A patch of more dense vegetation is seen in the west 9. A road crosses the western end of the slough 10, but by the time the photo was taken it was little used, indicated by pink vegetation on its surface. The slough is ringed by emergent vegetation 11—marshes and willows (Salix spp), the latter having a mottled texture 12. In the east several hummocks casting rounded shadows 13 are muskrat dens. Light-toned linear areas back from the shore 14 are salt deposits resulting from evaporation. In this hot dry windswept area, shelterbelts have been planted between fields, especially in the south 15.

For ease of identification letters designate individual fields:

a)  this is a large field with a pink colour characteristic of canola. A central lighter area 16 may be the result of a delay of a few days when seeding.[i]

b) and c) these fields are fallow with considerable weed growth; rounded patches of weeds 17 are located south of field c).

d)  the crop growing in this field has been cut along the edges 18.

e)  the distinctive pattern in this field indicates that a crop has been cut.

f)   the bright red of this field indicates a healthy crop, some of which has been cut in the south 19.

g)  the dark green of this field indicates fallow with red vegetation existing along drainage rills 20 leading to the slough.

h) and i) both fields support a healthy crop with dark-toned patches indicating some form of stress 21.

j)   this large field supports a very variable crop; the light-coloured linear area 22 that extends into field g) may indicate a former shoreline of the slough.

Fields in the section to the south are separated by north/south field shelterbelts of deciduous trees 23.

Figure 14.28: Agriculture Near a Large Slough in Southwest Manitoba

Figure 14.28: Agriculture Near a Large Slough in Southwest Manitoba

Figure 14.28

Vertical colour infrared photograph (Prairie Agri Photo)

Flight height: 7,200 fee a.s.l.; lens focal length: 50 mm

Scale: 1:9,600 (approx.)

Date: ca 1979

Location:

Map sheets: 

Notes

[i] Information from Jack McKinnon, Prairie Agri photo, Carman


 

 


14.29: The Experimental Farm at Brandon

This colour infrared photograph shows an area of about one square mile (one section) extending from the eastward-flowing Assiniboine River 1 in the south, northward across the floor of the Assiniboine glacial spillway to the steep, partially wooded spillway bank in the north 2. The east/west Grand Valley Road 3 runs across the centre of the area, with two gravel roads leading off to the north (4 and 5). The easternmost of these leads to the federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Brandon Research Station—one of three in Manitoba, the others being in Morden and Winnipeg. Administration buildings and barns can be seen east of the road 6, and a road leads off to the west 7 to the former Indian Residential School 8 that for many years was left empty and finally demolished. The Experimental Farm makes use of fertile soils developed on the spillway floor. Several short roads lead north from Valley Road 9 to houses located just off the spillway floor 10 above the level reached by Assiniboine floods.

Numerous small experimental plots can be seen on both sides of Grand Valley Road 11 as well as larger fields occupied by uniformly healthy crops (fairly uniform bright red) 12. However, even under controlled conditions topographic 13 and drainage 14 variations produce differences in the crops. A large field in the southwest 15 has been left fallow but has been overgrown by weeds, producing pink colouration 16. The weeds have been removed in some parts by cultivation producing some intricate patterns 17 of dark green/black.

Water reflects little infrared radiation. Therefore the Assiniboine River, an abandoned river channel 18, and the swimming pool at Turtle Crossing 19 are almost black. The fact that the river is black indicates low suspended sediment content at this time, mid-summer. If the photo had been taken in the spring when the river had high sediment content, the river would have appeared milky blue. The pool is surrounded by grass 20 (pink) with a large light-toned parking lot to the east 21. Other elements of the park are campsites in the wooded area south of the pool 22 and three baseball diamonds to the east of it 23.

 

Figure 14.29: The Experimental Farm at Brandon

Figure 14.29: The Experimental Farm at Brandon

Figure 14.29

Vertical colour infrared air photograph (Prairie Agri Photo)

Flight height: 7,200 fee a.s.l.; lens focal length: 50 mm

Scale: 1:9,500 (approx.)

Date: July 7, 1982

Location: Township 10, Range 19W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62 Brandon

1:50,000 62G/13 Brandon

1:25,000 62G/13d Brandon

 


14.29: Delete this figure

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14.30: The Experimental Farm at Morden

The experimental farm at Morden (official name: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Station) is one of three federally run experimental farms in Manitoba (the others are at Brandon and Winnipeg). Established in 1915 it covers an area of 254 hectares east of Morden. It conducts research into plant breeding for flax, field beans, roses, and ornamental trees and shrubs. On the photo, the eastern outskirts of Morden can be seen in the west 1, and PTH 3 between Morden and Winkler (off the photo to the east) passes north of the farm 2. Small fields 3, some of which are separated by shelterbelts 4, are characteristic of experimental farms. The administrative buildings and buildings in which indoor research is conducted are located in the northwest 5. To the west 6 and south 7 are plots devoted to shrub and tree research. Plots devoted to plant research are located mainly in the east 8. The yellow fields 9 contain a cereal crop that is ready to be cut. A small drainage channel, dry at the time the photo was taken, leads off to the southeast 10.

Figure 14.30: The Experimental Farm at Morden

Figure 14.30: The Experimental Farm at Morden

Figure 14.30

Vertical air photo by Prairie Agri Photo

Flight height:  lens focal length:

Scale: 1:9,400 (approx.)

Date: 2000

Location: Township 3; Range 5 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

1:50,000 62G/3 Morden

 


14.30: Delete this figure

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