Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 13, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
__ Ihu.sdoy, April 13, 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID Arctic only farming frontier left to conquer Ftinners who yearn for an- other frontier to conquer have one left in Canada the huge Northwest, including the North- west and Yukon Territories and northern Alberta and British Columbia, But the odds against success are stacked even higher than they were against the farmers who opened frontiers in letter di mates. Every year hundreds of peo- ple inquire about, farming in the Canadian Arctic. They can cull on 70 years of .scientific research by the Can- ada department of agriculture to learn about some of the chal- lenges they will face and some of the ways to overcome them. The findings have been con- densed into a publication called "Farming Potential of the Ca- nadian Copies are available, free of charge, from the information division of the Canada department of agricul- ture, Ottawa, KIA OC7, publica- tion number The main attraction for far cu- es in the Northwest is the low price of land and the high prices of most products. As new commun i t i c s are launched and existing ones ex- pand, the demand for farm products will increase. Hut there arc many disad- vantages. Yields arc general- ly only 70 per cent of those ob- tainable in the Peace River re- gion. Markets are limited, restrict- ing the amount of mechaniza- tion that can be used profitably. The cost of bringing in equip- ment and supplies is h i g h. There are no low-interest farm loans or other financial assis- tance. There arc no agricul- tural extension or veterinary services. There are no dealers to supply agricultural machin- ery, fertilizer, spare feed supplements, veterinary sup- plies or to repair equipment. There are no organized mar- keting systems. The successful farmer will be forced to he his own buyer, grower, repairman, veterinar- ian, processor and salesman, lie must be an experienced manager and ensure that every bit of machinery, fertilizer and other .supplies are on hand when required. The research con dueled by Canadian scientists has shown (hat crops such as cabbage, lettuce, caulif I o w c r, broccoli and ot lior garden producc can he grown successfully as- far north as Inuvik. Those who want to start a garden are act vised to locate near rivers and lakes, which moderate the climate, and to stay away from deep, narrow vnlleys. The climate can be improved by: a puth through trees at the bottom of a slope (o provide an escape alley for cold nir. a shcllerbeU to re- duce wind. irrigating the crop (o protect against frosts. (As little as .12 of an inch of water per hour prevents freezing with air temperatures as low as 19 degrees F.) clear polyethylene mulches which increase soil temperatures as much as 12 de- Ki'ces. combining there mulches with ridges, increasing temper- atures by as m uc h as Ifi de- grees. using plastic and glass shel- ters to raise air temperatures nnd to protect plants from some frosfs. Surveys have shown that (here are acres of arable land in the Takliini anci Deza- dcash valleys of llic Yukon Ter- ritory (along (lie Alaska High- way from Whilehorse lo Hamcs acres in the Laird1 River from the British west Territories (along tiio La'i'd River from lite British Columbia Northwest Terri- tories border north Eo the Mac- kenzie acres in the upper Mackenzie River area; I ,G9G, 000 acres in I he Slave River lowland area, and acres in the Fort Nelson area of Brilish Columbia. About 174 million acres are currently farmed in all of Can- ada. ONS-SEARS 12 ft. Deluxe Car lop Boa! Aluminum boat weighs 123 Ibs. and has, o tapoefty for 660 Ibs. Rnlea1 for 15 h.p. motor. 3 keels, foam floalallon. 3 wooden seals. 11 ff. Carfcop Boat Roled for 6 h.p. motor, boo! only 105 Ibs.