Farmers face many obstacles when trying to grow a healthy crop. These obstacles include weeds, unpredictable weather, insects, and plant diseases. In the early 1900s, farmers used heavy plowing of the soil to reduce the weeds, but there wasn’t anything they could do to control the weather, insects, or diseases yet.
Photo Credit: Western Development Museum
Farmers relied on heavily plowing the soil to manage weeds.
After the drought of the Great Depression, many farmers and scientists looked for ways to provide water to their crops even when it doesn’t rain. Systems that apply water from a lake or river to a field are called ‘irrigation’. Irrigation is only used on certain fields and the farmer must own the rights to the water. This ensures we don’t use too much water from our reservoirs like lakes and rivers each year.
Farmers use irrigation systems to water crops even when it doesn’t rain.
Water is very important to successfully grow crops and raise livestock on the Prairies!