A preliminary irrigation study with vegetables in Saskatchewan
Green, Charles Oliver
On July 25, 1958, the construction of the South Saskatchewan River Dam was authorized by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan at an estimated cost of 96 million dollars. The dam will rise 210 feet above the bed of the river and, together with a dam in the Qu’Appelle Valley, will create a reservoir 140 miles long with about 475 miles of shoreline. The reservoir will impound 8,000,000 acre feet of water over an approximate area of 109,600 acres. The objectives of this dam and reservoir are to permit full use of the river water for power development, rural and urban water supply, recreation, flood control and irrigation. The proposed irrigation system may ultimately provide for the irrigation of some 500,000 acres of land at an estimated cost of 50 million dollars to the provincial government. The area, to be irrigated will include both sides of the South Saskatchewan River between Elbow and Saskatoon, and the Qu’Appelle Valley extending east of Elbow, to the Manitoba border. Grain, hay and pasture crops are expected to be the main crops of the irrigation project during its initial stages. Specialty crops, however, such as potatoes, peas, corn, and other fresh vegetables as well as canning crops and sugar beets may eventually be grown under irrigation. To date, there has been very little research on the irrigation of vegetable crops in Saskatchewan. Consequently, much information is required on all aspects of irrigation, if vegetables are to be grown economically in Saskatchewan. It was for this purpose that the present study with ten vegetable crops was undertaken in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. This investigation was designed to determine whether irrigation, and which level of irrigation, would significantly increase the yield and quality of the particular vegetables involved. It must be remembered, however, that the results reported herein are preliminary, based only on one year’s data.