The Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association argues it will be hard for irrigators to be solely responsible for equipment such as pumps, lifts and canals.  |  File photo

Irrigation transfer still alarming producers

Legislation has been introduced to allow the Saskatchewan government to hand over assets to to irrigation districts

The pending transfer of irrigation assets from the Saskatchewan government to districts continues to concern farmers who say they face huge costs because the infrastructure is in poor repair. One estimate has pegged rehabilitation costs at $350 million. The province has wanted to transfer equipment such as pumps, lifts and smaller canals to the districts […] Read more

A civil engineer says irrigation hasn’t expanded much in Saskatchewan beyond the initial agreement in the 1960s when the Gardiner Dam was built and Lake Diefenbaker formed.  |  File photo

Irrigation infrastructure expansion urged

Saskatchewan is encouraged to use money available through the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation fund

An advocate of developing Saskatchewan’s water resources says the province would do well to access a federal fund and start building water infrastructure. Wayne Clifton, senior principal at Clifton Associates, said money available through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation fund could be used to further develop infrastructure around Lake Diefenbaker. As a civil engineer for […] Read more

Peter Fehr stands with his new irrigation system on his farm near La Crete, Alta. | Photo supplied by Peter Fehr

Alberta Farmer’s irrigation dreams come true

For almost all the 38 years Peter Fehr has farmed, he’s dreamed of having an irrigation system. He has been dealing with dry conditions up in the northern Peace area of La Crete, Alta., and would love to see a boost in yield. “I’ve always had irrigation in the back of my mind,” said Fehr, […] Read more

Mountain snowpack is an important water source for Alberta’s irrigators.  |  File photo

Plentiful mountain snowpack bodes well for Alta. irrigators

Snow accumulation along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains appears to bode well for runoff and the coming irrigation season, Alberta Environment reports. The mountain runoff forecast as of Feb. 7, posted by the department, indicates above average levels in the Oldman River Basin near Lethbridge and Brocket, as well as in the Bow […] Read more

A study found that irrigated fields have higher greenhouse gas emissions that non-irrigated fields.  |  File photo

Reducing nitrous oxide emissions benefits farmers

Farmers who use best management practices for agronomic reasons also gain environmental benefits, says a University of Saskatchewan researcher. However, soil scientist Dr. Richard Farrell told the recent provincial irrigation conference there is room for improvement around nitrogen use. Agricultural soils produce about half of total greenhouse gas emissions for the sector but 90 percent […] Read more

There’s no flax in this field’s low spot, but the rest of the crop is struggling to full maturity west of Wrentham, Alta.  | Barb Glen photo

Irrigation makes the difference

Crops in southern Alberta are a study in contrasts this year. Those farming some of the region’s 1.4 million irrigated acres are looking at average yields. Those farming dry land acres are harvesting fields with much lower yields due to low rainfall since May. “I’m expecting 90 percent to 105 percent of average,” crop adviser […] Read more

The Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre in Outlook, Sask., is bursting its banks as it runs out of land for research. |  File photo

Land shortage hinders irrigation research

Demand for trial research on variable rate applications, rotations and variety research is growing but the land available is not

OUTLOOK, Sask. — There is nothing like success to create problems. Irrigation agriculture research in Saskatchewan is alive and well, so much so that a shortage of a critical element has caused its primary research group to turn down opportunities, along with the associated funding. The Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre in Outlook, Sask., couldn’t take […] Read more

The yield difference between the irrigated and non-irrigated sections of this field was more than 150 bushels.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Subsurface drip irrigation pays for Ont. farmer

Corn grower with sandy soil details the costs and yield benefits behind the 67-acre installation project

DELHI, Ont. — Corn grown in this southeastern Ontario region, on what’s known as the Norfolk sand plain, is a virtually writeoff — except where a handful of farmers installed subsurface drip irrigation systems. It was difference between disaster and success for Todd Boughner, manager of Judge Farms, and Jeff Lipcsik. The two spoke about […] Read more

Zebra mussels can plug irrigation networks by gluing themselves to infrastructure. Manitoba conducted 2,819 water craft inspections by the end of October and 136 boats were decontaminated.  |  File photo

Manitoba anxious to control mussels

Lack of staff, funding | Potash was used to control zebra mussels in Lake Winnipeg, but they are still spreading

Manitoba worked hard for years to keep zebra mussels out of Lake Winnipeg, but it appears the Russian invaders are here to stay following an infestation that was discovered last year. “For Lake Winnipeg, right now, it looks like adaptation,” said biologist Laureen Janusz with Manitoba Conservation. An intensive campaign to inject liquid potash around […] Read more

Saskatchewan could irrigate another 500,000 acres out of Lake Diefenbaker, but the government is hesitant to commit to the billions the project would cost.  |  File photo

Expand irrigation to boost economy: official

Employment benefits | ‘Irrigation development should be a no-brainer,’ says the province’s irrigation association chair

Saskatchewan’s recently released irrigation strategy is a good short-term document, says the chair of the Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association. However, Roger Pederson said it is missing provisions for the major infrastructure projects that will really advance the industry. He said the strategy indicates the government will continue to develop irrigation but it emphasizes infill in […] Read more