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Manitoba from the Air
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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