Canadian Geographic
Left navigation image
Climate change

The Prairies

The 2001 and 2002 droughts that afflicted much of southern Canada had serious consequences for Prairie farmers, a harbinger of things to come if climate models are accurate. The droughts cost the Canadian agricultural industry an estimated $3.6 billion in lost production. Wheat and canola production was down by 43 percent from 2000 and water for spring irrigation in Alberta was rationed for the first time.

While climate change could lead to more water shortages, extreme weather conditions, increased soil erosion and more insect infestations, a longer growing season and the potential for growing new crops might benefit farmers in some regions. Spring wheat seeded earlier, for instance, could be harvested earlier to avoid late-summer arid conditions. But researchers caution that it is still unclear whether such advantages might offset the negative impacts of global warming.


On the next page:

Ontario and Quebec

Go now!  Go now!
Quiz :

The growing season has increased in the Prairies by how many days?