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Facts concerning the agricultural conditions--actual and potential--of southern Alberta, Canada, and… Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Department of Colonization and Development 1908

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Concerning the Agricultural
Conditions—Actual   and
Potential—of Southern
"If wheat cannot be Produced on old land.
we must depend on Canada for our supply, for
only   there   is   virgin   soil   still   to   be   found.**—
Twentieth Century Farmer {Omaha).
The object in issuing this folder is to place in the hands of
the American public facts concerning Southern Alberta, Canada, which will enable that public to, as nearly as possible, form
a fairly intelligent opinion of present conditions here, and furnish material from which a fairly intelligent forecast of the
country's future, as measured by its past, may be ventured.
There is no country in the world today so largely made up
of pioneers and their descendants as is the United States. A
little over a century ago, unhampered and unburdened by the
traditions and the accumulated wealth of a long line of ancestors, the people of that country, with their heads and their hands,
began working out the destiny of a great nation. But while
they were lacking in funds this condition was more than made
up for ill the size and the potential wealth of their country. It was
furnishing to its people greater and more varied opportunities
for individual initiative than the world had ever known before.
And this quality has bred in those pioneers and their children a
spirit of progressiveness that is constantly on the alert where
their material advancement is concerned. Having tested the
fruits of success the average American is reaching out for those
opportunities that will bring more of it, which accounts for the
fact that over 93 per cent, of the sales of this company have
been made to people from the States.
The Awakening of Western Canada
That the days of their reign in Western Canada might be
prolonged, the Hudson's Bay Company did all within their
power to paint the country in the most dismal of colors. They
blanketed it in a story of snow and ice, and pictured it a land
unfit for human habitation. To them the country was a vast
treasure house to be guarded from the rest of the world. Had
it not been for the advent of the railway, to the world, it would
still be shrouded in the cloud of mystery this old monopoly had drawn about it.   But with the railway came people and the truth,
and from a wilderness has sprung up a mighty garden.
Following the Hudson's Bay Company, with its centuries-
old story of a land of ice and snow, came the ranchers, who for
years stood as a barrier to the settlement of Southern Alberta.
With their stock knee-deep in the luxuriant grasses of its plains
and undulating hills, they told the intending settler that nothing
could be grown but grass, and that in certain years not even
grass could withstand the prolonged drouth and heat frequently
recurring in this province. In the majority of cases these reports
had the desired effect, and those who had come to farm either '
left the province or turned to other lines of work. However,
there were a few who required further assurance than the mere
statements of those whose interest was opposed to the cultivation and the fencing of the ranges, and as a result small areas
were taken up and sown to cereals. The results were astonishing. But in such widely separated and isolated districts were
these few successful experimentalists located that their successes
were heard of very rarely. However, they were occasionally
brought to the light of day and there would then follow a few
more successful experiments. Each one had its effect on a friend
or acquaintance in the East or across the border, until 1897, when
the tide of immigration began to flow in earnest. And like a
great tidal wave it has swept everything before it, driving the
rancher and his stock back to the foothills, and away from the
railroads. Where for years his cattle and horses roamed at will,
today the country is cut up into farms which are fenced and are
producing annually fine crops.
The United States is now practically settled. Its agricultural lands are more than spoken for, and its citizens are looking
to Western Canada as the one spot where good land can still be
bought cheaply. The question now being asked by those who
wish to avail themselves of the present opportunity is, "How
long will these lands be open for settlement at the present prices ?"
The answer is that it cannot be for long, as the world's available supply of land is rapidly decreasing while values are steadily
Southern Alberta
None but those who have lived in a new country can realize
what is really taking place at this time in the way of settlement
in Southern Alberta. There has been nothing in the world to
equal it. Immigration to the United States was considered phenomenal, but it started very slowly and it took years for it to
reach its present magnitude. It has taken but ten years for the
immigration figures of Canada to jump from 5,000 to 200,000 a
year. In the settlement of the United States there was the Eastern Hemisphere to draw from. Canada has that and the United
States, too, from which to draw and this means a much more
rapid settlement here than the latter ever knew.
In the most fertile part of Southern Alberta, where in days
gone by, the buffalo found his richest pasture, the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company owns a large tract of land extending
for 150 miles east of Calgary, along the beautiful valley of the
Bow River. Here, in the past, attracted by the luxuriant growth
of native grasses, for which the valley has become famous, came
the buffalo in countless numbers to feed. As long as the country
was his, it was the favorite hunting ground of the Northwest
Indians. When game was scarce, or could be found in no other
section, it was always plentiful here.
With the extermination of the buffalo, the country was
claimed by the rancher with his cattle that fed and fattened for
market in this great pasture. Like the buffalo and the Indian,
the rancher has had his day and the farmer with his plow and
reaper has come to his own, and he is going to hold it. Whers
in the past, buffalo and cattle ranged throughout the entire year
to-day the valley is dotted with happy homes, surrounded by
rich acres that are advancing in value yearly.
The soil along the Bow Valley, a black sandy loam, underlaid with a good clay subsoil, is rich in the accumulated humus
of centuries. This with the silt deposit of ages has produced a
Soil of great depth and of a richness almost beyond belief. The
gently undulating hills and rolling prairies of this valley are
devoid of rock, sage brush or cactus, so commonly found in
places to the south of it and they are ready for the plow with
no expense of $3 to $5 per acre for clearing, which has usually
to be met with by settlers in the new lands of the Western and
Southwestern States.
The marvellous growth of wild grass (tall bunch grass)
with which these hills and plains are carpeted, furnishes indisputable evidence of the soil's fertility.
The subjoined report by Prof. F. T. Shutt, M.A., F.J.C.,
F.C.S., F.R.S.C, taken at various points along the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company's Bow River holdings, is one of which
the Canadian Pacific Railway officials are justly proud.
"Ottawa, Ont, Nov. 16, 1906.
"Notes   on   the   character   of   the   soil   between   Langdon   and
Gleichen, Alta., on  the lands of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
"The first examination was made a few hundred yards north
of the railway station at Langdon. The surface soil was found
to be_ a black, heavy loam, evidently well supplied with humus
(semi-decomposed vegetable matter), and containing such a proportion of clay as to constitute it a 'strong soil.' Technically, it
would be classified as a clay loam. * * * The subsoil is a
heavy chocolate colored clay. The probabilities are that analysis
would show considerable percentages of organic matter and ni- trogen in this clay—at any rate, for some few inches—as the
surface soil, characterized by such rich stores of these constituents, passes without any strong line of demarkation into the
"Crossing the railway track, we drove to the Company's
(Sec. XV.), and inspected the soil at a number of points
upon it and as far south as the Secondary Irrigation Canal 'A.'
The surface soil, apparently similar in all respects to that north
of the railway track * * * Following east from Langdon along
the Blackfoot trail the soil was examined in four places between
Langdon and the canal, between Sections 6 and 7, Tp. 23, Rg. 25.
The soil throughout was extremely uniform in character. * * *
After crossing the ditch an examination was made in N. E.
Quarter Section 6, Tp. 23, Rg. 25, where the same heavy, black
loam prevailed.
"* * * Driving northeast towards Strathmore an examination was made on Sec. 29, Tp. 23, ,Rg. 25, and no change of
mark could be noticed either in soil or subsoil.
"* * * From Strathmore to Gleichen the route lies southeast, the trail we took running north of Lakes Eagle and Na-
maka, and in a general sense parallel to the C.P.R. track, though
considerably north of it. * * * A moderately heavy black
loam was found on Sec. 32, Tp. 22, Rg. 23, with a subsoil of
comparatively stiff clay. A further trial pit was made on Sec.
23, Tp. 22, Rg. 23, and revealed a depth of about six inches of
black soil, underlaid by a distinctly heavy clay.
"One examination was made east of Gleichen, on a breaking about half a mile from the village. Here there was a depth
of fully eight inches of heavy black soil underlaid by a chocolate
colored clay.
"Bearing in mind the lighter character of the soil in the
neighborhood of Strathmore, it will be observed that the surface
soil along the whole route travelled presented a certain well
marked' uniformity, more particularly noticeable in humus-content (as judged by the color) and depth. This constitutes a
distinguishing  feature  of  prairie  lands.    A  more    detailed  and
extended survey might shew a greater variation than was noticed,
and possibly analysis might disclose differences not otherwise
detectable, but as far as our examination allows a judgment, it
would appear that the whole area traversed is overlaid by a surface soil rich in humus and plant food and bearing all the signs
of a highly productive soil if provided with adequate moisture."
Dominion Experimental Farms.
The following extracts from a report by Prof. Shaw, Editor
of the "Orange Judd Farmer," considered one of the foremost
agricultural experts of America, will be of interest:—
"The first foot of soil in Western Canada is its greatest
natural heritage. It is worth all the mines in the mountains
from Alaska to Mexico, and more than all the forests from the
United States boundary to the Arctic Sea, vast as these are.
"And next in value to its heritage is the three feet of soil
which lies underneath the first. The sub-soil is only secondary
in value to the soil, for without a good sub-soil the value of a
good surface soil is neutralized in proportion as the sub-soil is
inferior. The worth of a soil and sub-soil cannot be measured
in acres. The measure of its value is the amount of nitrogen,
phosphoric acid and potash which it contains; in other words,
its producing power. Viewed from this standpoint, these lands
are a heritage of untold value. One acre of average soil in the
Northwest is worth more than twenty acres of average soil
along the Atlantic seaboard. The man who tills the former can
grow twenty successive crops without much diminution in the
yields, whereas the person who tills the latter must pay the
vendor of fertilizers half as much for materials to fertilize an
acre as would buy the same in the Canadian Northwest, in
order to grow a  single remunerative crop."
Many writers in dealing with the climate of some particular district describe it as ideal. When such a climate is
actually discovered the country which possesses it will not
hold the people that flock there. Of course, no such climate
does exist. Human beings, and crops as well, for their own
best good, must have a variable climate; an agreeable interchange
of sunshine and cloud. Such a climate has Southern Alberta.
It is farther south than is London, The Hague, Amsterdam, Cologne, Berlin or Dresden. The sunshine and the rain, the heat
and the cold are so distributed as to make a climate that approaches as nearly as may be the ideal.
The baseball picture published in this folder will give some
idea of the average Southern Alberta winter. This game of ball
was played by the American and Canadian fat men on New
Year's-Day, 1908. Besides baseball there were two games of
football played on the same day and many of the players wore
neither coats or vests. While the States have been visited with
blizzards this winter that have extended as far south as Dallas,
Texas, Southern Alberta had a winter of almost continuous sunshine with no snow or cold weather.
The following temperature statistics will furnish some idea
of Southern Albert's winter weather as compared with points
in the States. The readings in this table are from December 20,
1907 to January 19, 1908, both dates inclusive.
Maximum    Minimum Mean
St. Paul, Minn 32.09 12.12 22.11
Madison, Wis 34.06 18.06 26.06
Davenport,  la 37.23 22.09 29.66
Maximum Minimum
Chicago, 111    38.70 26.10
Lander, Wyo.   34.14 5.28
CALGARY, ALTA 36.25 13.24
In making a comparison between Calgary and the other cities
given, it must be borne in mind that Calgary is over 3,400 feet
above the sea and naturally has cooler nights than the cities of
the States given here, as they are in a much lower altitude.
A comparison of the maximum temperature for Chicago and
Calgary during the month of January, 1908, gives Calgary an
average of 37.16 and Chicago 34.11.
From the foregoing comparisons it will be seen that Calgary
makes a fair showing with the other cities used in comparison.
However, the comparison does not show that there have been less
than fifteen cloudy days in Calgary since the first day of October,
1907, up to the 15th of February, 1908.
During the long days of the summer months when crops
most need the sunlight to bring them to fruition, the sun is
up early and works until 9 o'clock in the evening. The effect
of these long hours of sunshine is readily discernible in
the rapidity with which crops mature.
Having soil and sunshine in Southern Alberta, all that remains to insure crops in this favored region is moisture. The
following meteorological statistics, compiled by the Dominion
Government are for twelve years, and show an average rainfall
of 19.6 inches for that period.
1899 ' 23.01
1900 15.41
1901 2.1_1
While the foregoing table gives the annual precipitation
for the past twelve years, a few comparisons with other districts to the south of the International Boundary will doubtless be of interest to those who are either looking for land
here or in the Western or Southern States. And that this
comparison may be of the greatest value to the reader, the
rainfall for the growing months only—the months that make
or ruin the crops—will be taken into consideration.
As the statistics compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture cover the years 1895 to 1904, inclusive,
the comparison will be made for those years.
May       June       July     Aug.   Average
Bismarck, N. D 2.50       3.25       2.60        1.80       2.54
North Platte, Nebr 3.00       3.20       2.40       2.40       2.75
Dodge City, Kan 3.40       3.90       3.50       1.50       3.08
Abilene, Texas  2.10       3.00       2.50       1.00       2.15
San Antonio, Texas 3.40       2.00       2.80        1.50       2.43
CALGARY, CANADA..2.76       4.04       3.51       3.51       3.46
It will be noted from the foregoing table trfat, with the
exception of the month of May, Calgary had a greater average   rainfall  during  the    ten   years    under    consideration    than
any of the other districts mentioned. But what the figures
do not show is that during that period of time, with the exception of Calgary, all of these districts had at least two dry
years with their attendant crop failures, and that there were
many months in these districts when the rainfall amounted
to less than one inch. While these districts to the south
were having dry years that killed off the small fruits, the
alfalfa and the trees, the Calgary district was blessed with abundant crops.
The open character of the country in this portion of the
Province of Alberta, its clear, dry atmosphere, the abundance
of sunshiny days, its elevation, from 1,400 to 3,400 feet above
sea level, and the fresh breezes that blow across its plains, all
tend to make it one of the most healthful countries in the world.
There is an entire absence of malaria, and there are no diseases
peculiar to the country. The part of the Province referred to
has a continental reputation for healthfulness, and it is particularly favorable for persons with a tendency to pulmonary
troubles. Many who have lost hope of ever again being blessed
with good health, have found it in Southern Alberta. ..    .     -.
. .     :: . :  ■ :     : y>: :;vj
The winter in Southern Alberta is a season of bright,
cloudless days, infrequent and scanty snowfalls, broken by
frequent and prolonged periods of warm weather heralded.
by the "Chinook" wind, so called because it blows over the
region formerly inhabited by the Chinook Indians, on the
banks of the Lower Columbia River. It is really a wind
warmed by the Japan current which hugs the Pacific Coast,
and rising into a high altitude, passes high over the snowcapped tops of the sleeping giants to the west of us and
descends upon the favored plains • of fortunate Alberta, thus
giving to it a much higher temperature during the winter
months than that enjoyed in the northern or the eastern sections
of the United States.
Owing to these winds the snow that falls usually lasts
but a day or two, and is generally followed by warm, bright
days and dry, hard roads. In fact, there is so little snow in
Southern Alberta that sleighing is quite a precarious pastime,
which more often than otherwise terminates in a ride over the
bare ground.
Is it any wonder that a country that has the soil, moisture
and climate of Southern Alberta is attracting settlers from all
over the world?
Anywhere within this company's tract of land in the Bow
River Valley, an abundance of good water may be obtained by
driving a well from 50 to 80 feet.
Wheat is King
In North America there are three, just three, great life-
sustaining crops, and these crops are wheat, corn and grass.
Permanently banish any one of these great crops from the
continent and it would shake its foundations loose. To permanently banish all three of these crops would mean to depopulate the continent and render it as valueless to man as is the
desert of Sahara.
Three great man and beast-sustaining crops—and the
greatest of these is wheat. Wheat is as much greater than
grass as man is superior to the beasts of the field or of the
forest. It is said in Hbly Writ that man shall not live by
bread alone—but the ancient writer did not say that man cannot
live by bread alone—for not on this round globe of ours is there
grown another substance that furnishes to man so complete and
so well balanced a ration as does Wheat. Wheat builds up and
nourishes the human body, and it feeds the brain as no other
vegetable or animal substance grown upon the earth is able
to do.
In the days that are gone the people in the southland
said that "Cotton is King!"—a pretty sentiment, but, alas, a
myth. Upon the declaration that "Cotton is King," the
people   of   the    Southland   attempted   to    establish    an   Inde-
13 pendent Nation, and the result of that attempt was "The
Lost  Cause,"  one  of  the  saddest  tragedies   of  recorded  time.
At a later time, and further north, the good people there
abiding declared that "Corn is King!" Another beautiful
sentiment, but like many pretty things in fiction, it is not
true. If the beasts were nature's capital creation, corn
might be king; but while man lives and reigns it never can
be king. If raiment were more than food, cotton might be
king. If beef and pork and mutton were more than human
genius com might be king. Wheat is King. Wheat was, it
is, and it will be King, so long as man is man. And the
wheat-producing regions of the earth are and ever must be
the granary of man. Blessed above all other places of the
earth are those sections that grow an excellent quality of
As to the quality of wheat Alberta let William D.
Jackson, a former president of the Chicago Board of Trade,
"The samples of red and white winter wheat from Alberta have been submitted to our large millers, to Chief
■ Grain Inspector Smiley, to the expert buyers of our elevators, and unofficially to the grain committee of our board.
It was the judgment of all that the wheat was exceptionally
fine, and would grade number one in this market, which
commercially,    is    an    almost    unknown    quality.     Many    here
were aware that experiments in growing winter varieties of
wheat had been made in the great Canadian North-West, but
few were aware of the results. The samples excited a good deal
of interest, and several parties expressed a desire to own land
producing such a quality of grain."
It is not so many years ago that a small party of Russian immigrants settled in Kansas. They were from the
Provinces of Turkie and Kharkoff, Russia. They brought
with them from their native land a small quantity of seed
wheat that they sowed in the land of their adoption. While
the seed took kindly to the new soil and became a popular
variety, it changed within three years from a hard to a soft wheat
and has been given the name of Kansas "Turkey Red."
In looking for seed wheat suitable to the climate cf
Southern Alberta, "Turkey Red" was selected as the wheat
best fitted for this country. A carload of it was imported,
it was sown and a new variety of wheat was brought forth.
Instead of the soft "Turkey Red" of Kansas, the wheat
grown here, under different climatic conditions, developed
into a No. I hard, and has been given the name of "Alberta
Red." That it is a superior quality of wheat is attested by the
fact that wheat grown in Southern Alberta from this seed, in
competition with winter wheat from all parts of the United
States, received the highest award, the gold and the bronze
medals at the Portland Exposition held in 1905.
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While the Portland Exposition established the superior
quality of "Alberta Red" winter wheat it, of course, could
not place its seal of approval upon the quantity of wheat
produced upon an average acre of Southern Alberta soil.
That was a task that had to be handled by the Provincial Government of Alberta. The Government crop bulletins of
Alberta for 1905 and 1906 give the average annual yield of winter
wheat for the whole province as 22.19 bushels an acre.
The same bulletins give the average annual yield of winter
wheat in the Calgary district as 28.81 bushels an acre.
Average yields never do a country justice, because the
short crop of the poor, shiftless farmer cuts down the average yield of his more wide-awake and prosperous neighbor.
And average yields are particularly unfair to Alberta, where
not alone is the average greatly reduced by incompetent
farmers, largely so through their ignorance of conditions and
their calling, but because the country is new and much of
the wheat is put in on first breaking and poorly prepared
Thirty to fifty bushels of wheat an acre is no uncommon
yield in Southern Alberta, and forty bushels to the acre is very
Agnes Dean Cameron, writing of "Alberta Red" in the Philadelphia "Saturday Evening Post," says:—
"It is not at all unusual for the farmer in Western Canada
to pay   for  the   land  with   the  first   crop   and   put   buildings
all over it with the second. Never in the world's history
have the cultivators of virgin soil attained such a success at
the outset."
In making the foregoing statement, Miss Cameron knew
precisely what she was writing about. Before writing her story
she had been out in Western Canada and had made a most thorough and searching investigation of conditions in the home of
"Alberta Red," and not being an Alberta woman her statement
will doubtless carry more weight with the public than would a
statement made by an interested resident of the province. Paying for a farm in Alberta with the first crop is so far from being
an unusual occurrence, that a statement of that sort passes here
with but little comment.
Four years ago the total production of winter wheat in Alberta was 152,000 bushels. In 1905 it had jumped to practically
2,000,000 bushels. In 1906, owing to the fact of unfavorable
weather in the spring which retarded planting and decreased the
average yield, the production was about the same as in 1905.
The wheat crop in Alberta for 1907 is conservatively estimated
to be between four and five million bushels. .
These figures convey a general idea of the rapidity with
which the growing of winter wheat has extended, but this multiplied production marks only the initial stage of what in a short
time must play an important part in the history of the world's
bread supply.
In the spring of 1905 Southern Alberta had an elevator capacity of 230,000 bushels, and a milling capacity of 450 barrels a
17 day. At this time there is an elevator capacity of 3,000,000
bushels, and the milling capacity has been increased to 2,250
barrels a day. Two years have witnessed this phenomenal increase in crop production and in the facilities for handling it,
and who is seer enough to truly forecast what the increase of
the next five years will be? Certain it is that the raising of winter wheat has now passed the experimental stage, and that large
areas throughout this part of the province that have heretofore
been devoted solely to the grazing of cattle, horses and sheep,
will in the near future, yield to the plow and be devoted to the
growing of winter wheat.
What is to become of the product of these great areas?
Calgary is situated 1,200 miles from Fort William, the great
exporting point for the famous hard spring wheat raised in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It is not reasonable to suppose that
the winter wheat of Alberta is going to'be hauled so great a distance by rail even during the season of navigation on the Great
Lakes, to say nothing of the additional 1,400 miles to the Atlantic Seaboard during the winter months.
With this rapidly increasing production have come the questions of markets and transportation facilities for the handling
of the product. Usually supply and demand settle these questions, and that quickly and definitely. Markets in their location
do not change, but in their reaching out for supplies try, as far
as possible, to hold down or to reduce the cost by eliminating
the high freight rates of the long haul, and thus, in a large meas-
ure, affecting and changing the source of supply.   It all resolves
itself into a question of buying from the nearest granary.
Southern Alberta is particularly favored in the way of transportation facilities and a near-by seaport. Instead of having to
ship its wheat east 2,600 miles to tide water, it has through the
Canadian Pacific Railway, which almost bisects its wheat growing section, with numerous branches extending to the north and
south, a very short haul of 600 miles, with but 16 miles of adverse grades between Calgary and Vancouver, the western seaport of Canada. This railway company, with its magnificent
harbor at Vancouver, and large steamers engaged in the Oriental
trade, affords to Alberta all that could possibly be asked for in
the way of markets and transportation facilities. The growing
demand in the Orient for winter wheat and flour is now greater
than the supply. What will it mean to Alberta when the Panama Canal is finished, and the now inaccessible markets in the
Eastern Hemisphere are thrown open to her and begin bidding
for wheat—more wheat? As long as there is a market in the
world for wheat, and there always will be, Alberta will have a
constant demand for her surplus.
Combination Farms
While the conditions are so favorable for the growing and
the marketing of winter wheat in Southern Alberta, it must not
for a moment be imagined that this is a one-crop country. Nor
must it be imagined that it is a country of but one kind of land.
The land on which winter wheat has made a record here is land
that has never known artificial watering—irrigation. But there
are other crops to which irrigation is as essential as is good
soil and sunshine.
While it has been clearly demonstrated that the winter
wheat lands here are of the richest soil to be found, and without
the aid of irrigation are producing maximum crops, there is,
taken in connection with the production of wheat on non-
irrigable lands, a still more attractive and profitable opening for
the new settler—the purchase of a combination farm.
It sometimes happens that progress in one industry retards
the success of others. But such is not the case when settlers
buy combination farms in the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's irrigation block. This block of land contains about equal
proportions of irrigable and non-irrigable areas and offers to
the purchaser an opportunity to engage in mixed faming under
almost ideal conditions. Here can be secured in the same quarter-section, side by side, land lying above the canal system for
the production of winter wheat and the grazing of live stock, and
irrigable land for other crops, such as alfalfa, barley, vegetables,
etc., requiring abundant moisture. For farm purposes, there is
a never failing supply of water, which insures crops when the
seed is placed in the ground, while the problem of a constant
supply of water in every pasture for the use of the live stock
is also solved.
The irrigated portions of the land will raise all kinds of
grain and root crops and a sufficient supply of fodder for winter
The non-irrigated sections will grow winter wheat or furnish
the finest pasture for live stock to be found in the world.
The native grasses on the plains of Alberta are rich in fattening properties. So much so, in fact, that Alberta beef, shipped
direct from the ranges, has come to be considered as fine as the
corn-fed beef of the States.
Combination farms in this block may justly be regarded
as the best agricultural proposition on the North American
The Canadian Pacific Railway Company owns a large tract
of these rich Bow River valley lands. This tract has an average
width of 40 miles from north to south and extends from Calgary eastward 150 miles. The land lies along the main line of
their railway, and it is supplied with a first class passenger and
freight service.
The Railway Company has undertaken the construction of
the largest irrigation system on the Western Hemisphere. About
one-third of the system is now finished, and the land in this
section has been placed upon the market, at a price and upon
terms that are attracting settlement from all over the world.
This is neither a land or a water selling scheme. The low
prices charged for both make that clear. The Canadian Pacific
Railway is expending millions of dollars on this project purely
and simply to build up the most prosperous agricultural community in America. This sounds like philanthropy, but it isn't.
The railway wants a prosperous community that the greatest
possible volume of traffic may be created. Therefore, we appeal
to those only who will add to the prosperity of this section.
The water supply taken from the Bow River is inexhaustible, and will for all time furnish sufficient moisture for the
1,500,000 acres of land under the Company's canal system, and
at the small annual water rental of 50c. a year. When the work
now going forward on the central and eastern sections of this undertaking is completed 3,000 miles of canals and waterways will
have been constructed by the Company. The work now completed has been passed upon .by Dr. Elwood Mead, Chief of
Drainage and Irrigation Investigations, Department of Agriculture, Washington, who pronounces the work superior to anything
he has seen in his investigations on this continent.
Prof. Samuel Fortier, Office of Experiment Stations, United
States Department of Agriculture, in a paper delivered before the
National Irrigation Congress held at Sacramento, California,
September 4th, 1907, in speaking of the difficulties to be encountered by new settlers on irrigated land in the United States,
says: "This brings us face to face with the weak feature of every
plan yet adopted by the American nation for the reclamation of
its arid lands. Before any harvests can be obtained on this new
land it will cost on an average of over $20 per acre. The land here being free of cactus, sage brush or stone is
immediately ready for the plow upon occupancy and the cost of
putting in and harvesting a crop of any of the cereals will not
amount to more than $5.00 an acre.
Irrigation farming is simplicity itself. The most successful
community of irrigation farmers in Southern Alberta today, is
one composed wholly of settlers who never saw an irrigation
farm before they came to the Province. To irrigate land does
not require any more skill than it does to plow or harvest a
crop, and contrary to the general idea, irrigation farming is not
only scientific farming, but business farming.
The sprinkling of a lawn, the watering of a plant, is irrigation in its simplest form. Without it the lawns and parks, which
give to city life a touch of nature's beauties, would be devoid of
all that makes them attractive.
The great irrigation development in Western North America
has been the result of the efforts of people who migrated from
the East and the middle West with no knowledge of irrigation.
Probably the greatest boon that irrigation has conferred on
mankind is the practical demonstration of the profitableness of
the small farm, acre for acre, as .compared with the large farm.
Southern Alberta contains as many striking proofs of this profitableness as may be found in the older districts. The day was
when anything less than a section of land was looked upon as
being too small and from that up to several thousand acres
was considered none too large for a farm. But that day has
passed, and farms. have gradually decreased in size until today, forty acres, well cultivated, will produce greater returns
than 160 acres would under the old system. The increased
prosperity that will certainly accrue to a country from the multiplication of small farms as compared with the holding of large
tracts of land by individuals is apparent to all. Everything good
that follows in the wake of increased population is an argument
in favor of irrigation, and the cultivation of small areas.
Irrigation and fruit farming seem to be so interwoven in
the public mind that it is often a difficult matter to secure an
intelligent hearing for irrigation in districts where fruit growing
is not the leading industry. It is argued that so much labor is
necessary upon surface work and the application of water that
the ordinary hardy forage and cereal crops will not yield a sufficient revenue to make irrigation a paying undertaking.
In considering the possibilities of irrigation in northern latitudes, it is, however, well to bear in mind the fact that the
state of Montana, where the conditions are almost identical with
those of Southern Alberta, raises more agricultural products
under irrigation than the states of Oregon, Washington and
Wyoming combined; as much as the state of Utah, and half as
much as the state of Colorado. Great irrigation development is
now taking place in Northern Montana, by the aid of and under
the direction of the United States Government, which will place
that state in the front rank of the irrigated districts. In fact,
unmistakable evidence is visible on all sides to the effect that
the largest area of irrigable lands in America will presently be
among the rich agricultural lands of northern latitudes, and
under sub-humid climatic conditions.
The following article taken from "The Farm and Ranch
Review," the leading agricultural paper of Western Canada, will
be of interest to prospective settlers, as the editor of that publi-
cation has  farmed most successfully in Southern Alberta, both
with and without irrigation:—
"A close study of the agricultural condition under which
artificial watering is being practiced throughout the world today,
reveals the fact that irrigation is by no means confined to countries where the rainfall is so scant that nothing will grow without
it. On the contrary, in many countries, where irrigation has
been brought to the highest state of perfection, the natural rainfall is very heavy. Indeed, there must always be contiguous
territory of considerable precipitation in order to produce
springs and streams from which water may be diverted for irrigation purposes. The States of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and
Ohio, and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec are generally
supposed to be amply supplied with rain and snow, and able to
produce excellent crops under ordinary culture without the artificial application of water. Yet, in all of India, except the
northwestern part, throughout China, Japan, Siam, Italy, France
and Mexico, where millions of acres are brought under irrigation, the rainfall is quite as heavy as in the states and provinces
mentioned, namely, 23 to 51 inches per annum, which would
generallv be considered distinctly humid conditions.
25 "The average rainfall during the past ten years in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where irrigation by gravity
is practiced, is as follows: Calgary, 17.69 inches; Macleod, 13.18
inches; Medicine Hat, 15.83 inches; and Swift Current, 16.40
inches. The average rainfall of the state of Dakota is somewhat less, being over 10 inches, but under 20 inches per annum.
The conditions in the irrigable portion of Western Canada are,
therefore, such that there has been sufficient precipitation every
year to satisfactorily produce and mature crops. But with the
increase of population and prosperity more scientific methods
of farming were naturally adopted, and the introduction of irrigation marks an epoch in the history of Western Canada. Even
in the most humid countries it is seldom that a season passes
where the application of water at the critical time in the growth
of a crop, would not add considerably to the value of the result.
This refers with equal force to the years of greatest rainfall.
As a matter of fact, farmers now are not satisfied with returns
more or less in accordance with the accident of rainfall, but
are aiming at perfection in the development and maturity of
their grain and hay crops. It is, therefore, obviously good business to utilize the means which have been placed at the disposal
of settlers in districts favored with an adequate water supply,
to supplement the efforts of nature. Having water available in
his ditch or reservoir, the irrigation farmer is able to distribute
it on his land at such seasons of the year and in such quantities
as experience has taught him are the most propitious to favorable results. He is not at the mercy of the capriciousness of
the weather, and contends that crop growing without irrigation
is a crude system, while irrigation farming is the most ancient,
highly developed and natural system of culture.
"It is an admitted fact that the man who derives his living
from cultivating the sail takes chances on the ultimate result
of his efforts, such as prevail in very few legitimate branches
of commerce. Weather conditions make or break him. It is,
therefore, natural that where the conditions are favorable he
should insure against untoward events. The tendency of the
age is toward insurance. We insure against fire, against accident, and against death. It is a maxim in modern business
management that every contingency must, as far as possible, be
insured against. And the forecasting of the average result of
every  enterprise  man   embarks   on,   and   consequently   the  posi-
"_ _ _^ i.
27 bilities of insurance, are daily extending. The farmer all over
the world is rapidly adopting the principle. We insure against
the death of live stock, and "the destruction of crops by hail
storms. In Western Canada we go a step further and insure
against the absence of the necessary rainfall to produce the
greatest possible crop. Drought is the bane of the agriculturist in every portion of the globe where the soil is tilled
and where crops are grown. Countries with the highest average
rainfall have at times suffered an almost total loss of crop from
the absence of moisture at the time of the growing season, when
it was especially needed. Consequently, artificial watering of
crops or irrigation, as it is commonly called, has been resorted
to on a more or less extensive scale in nearly all countries where
the natural conditions admitted of it.
It will doubtless surprise many people to learn that farmers
of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and some of the New
England States have taken up irrigation, and a report of the
Department of Agriculture shows that the results, as a rule, are
that the irrigated farms in those states pay about twice as much
as those without irrigation, and that there are years when without artificial watering the crops would be a total failure. Irrigated crops there mature as much as two weeks earlier than do
non-irrigated crops, and, of course, bring much higher prices.
"To sum the matter up, therefore, irrigation in Western
Canada is not essential to the production of crops, but promises
to increase the returns from farming, that it is bound to become
a leading factor in its agricultural development, particularly as
the cost of irrigation, owing to favorable topographical and other
conditions admitting of cheap construction, will be much smaller
than anywhere else on the American continent."
It is of great importance that the laws under which irrigation is practiced should be so framed as to avoid any litigation
that might possibly arise over water rights. In many of the
States of the Union where irrigation is in vogue more money
has been spent in litigation over water rights than upon actual
irrigation development.
The Canadian irrigation laws and their administration are
acknowledged by the leading irrigation experts of the continent
to approach perfection as nearly as possible. The United States
Department of Agriculture in Bulletin 96 of that Department,
recommends the Canadian law to the consideration of those
whose duty it will be to prepare irrigation laws in the future
for use in those States where irrigation is practiced or is likely
to be practiced. Under these laws the waters of Alberta being
recognized as the property of the Crown the title given for a
water right is equal to and as good as is the title given for land.
During the ten years irrigation has been practiced in Alberta
there has not been a single law suit involving water rights.
United States
While Southern Alberta has acquired a fine reputation as a
winter wheat country, the .land is adapted to diversified farming,
and oats, barley, flax, alfalfa, timothy, clover, sugar beets and
vegetables of every kind grow in marvellous abundance and of
excellent quality.
That an understanding may be had of the cereal production
in Alberta, as compared with that of other countries, the following
table is published:—
Comparative   Statement  of  Yields  of   Grain  of  Countries
Named, as per Government Returns.
Year   Wheat    Oats    Barlev
 1903       12.9       28.4       26 4
"       1904       12.5       32.1       272
Russia    1903       10.6       17.7       17 5
 1904       11.5       25.7       144
Austria    1903       17.7       28.4       24 7
 1904       19.5       24.3       22 9
Utah    • 1905       26.4       39.8       37.0
Oregon  1905       18.6       24.1       31.0
Iowa  1905       14.2       	
Nebraska   1905       19.4       31.0       27.5
Montana    1905       23.8       41.3       33.0
Kansas 1905       13.9       27.1       22.0
North Dakota 1905       14.0       38.9       28.0
Wisconsin   1905       16.6       39.0       29.6
Canadian Crop Returns.
Wheat: _
Spring Winter Oats Barley
New Brunswick ..10 yrs. to 1901—14.1      14.8     25.8     21.6
Nova Scotia       " " 15.2     13.4     25.8     23.5
Ontario         " " 17.5     19.6     32.6     27.5
Prince Edward I'd.     " " 17.5      ....      27.7     23.1
Quebec       " " 14.1      13.7     24.9     24.3
Manitoba      " " 9.3     17.0     18.5     19.1
Saskatchewan        " " 19.88    ....      34.98   24.45
Alberta    1898 to 1905—20.69   21.03   35.67   26.50
1904—19.80 18.33 32.58 26.12
1905—20.69 21.03 35.67 26.50
1906—22.75   23.34   40.82   29.04
CALGARY DISTRICT 1904—23.22         39.79   31.42
1905—33.92   32.18   43.41   32.01
1906—27.8     26.0     49.0     31.0
In  compiling  the  foregoing table,  the   Calgary   District   is
made up of the comparatively  small  area contained  within   a
radius of fifty miles of the city of Calgary.    And while in one
or two  instances the yield  elsewhere has been  slightly larger
than in this district, the fact must be borne in mind that in each
instance the larger yields have been in highly irrigated sections;
that no irrigation was used in this  district, and that much of
the seed here was sown upon the first breaking, a large propor
tion of which was badly prepared, and hence maximum results
could not be expected.
*^ or THE
I   01   a   3 4   5  I   T   8 j   hi  II  a i» n a
C  P. R'   COMPANY  Press Crop Bulletin No. I of 1907 has the following to say
in regard to 1906 crop reports for Alberta:—
"It should be borne in mind, when studying crop bulletins
issued by this department, that the yields given are based upon
thresher's measure, and not by weight, thus the average yield
is much heavier than reported. For example, the standard
weight of oats per bushel is 34 lbs., but those grown in Alberta
average from 40 to 48 lbs. per measured bushel; therefore, the
yield of oats, if given by weight, would be at least one-fifth to
two-fifths greater, bringing the average estimated yield for 1906
up to fully 50 bushels per acre."
Oats give large yields and are' of first quality. It is no
uncommon thing for a farmer to harvest 90 and even 100 bushels of oats to the acre, and not a few instances are recorded in
which the yield has been 115 bushels to the acre, weighing
from 40 to 48 lbs. to the bushel. Oats are always in demand,
and at prices ranging from 30 cents to 60 cents a bushel.
British Columbia lumber and mining camps make large demands on Alberta farmers for oats. .
The only oats raised in Western Canada this year that graded
No. 1 White on the Winnipeg Grain Exchange were grown on
the farm of John McEwen, in the heart of this company's irrigation block at Gleichen.
Conditions for the raising of barley are almost perfect here,
and the quality and yields are of an exceptional character. In
fact, the grain is of such a superior quality that the farmers of
this part of Southern Alberta, have a standing offer from the
grain buyers of 10 cents a bushel in excess of the prevailing market price. The greatest yield reported for 1907 was that of John
McEwen at Gleichen who raised 91 bushels to the acre. This
was an exceptionally heavy crop, but 50 to 60 bushels to the acre
is no uncommon yield in this district.
The following letter is self explanatory:
Calgary, Alta., November 10, 1906.
Canadian Pacific Irrigation Colonisation Co., City.
Gentlemen : I have just harvested on my place at Nose
Creek, twelve miles from here a volunteer crop of barley, averaging 52 7/9 bushels to the acre, and feel that you will be interested
in the fact. In the spring of 1905 I sowed nine acres. Just a
day or two before harvest there came a very light hail. When
it was harvested and threshed it ran 30 bushels to the acre. This
year I was going to summer-fallow it and manured it for that
purpose. However, before I could get to my ploughing a volunteer crop of barley had sprung up that was at least eight inches
high and I decided to let it go to see what it would amount to.
I cut and threshed it this fall and got 475 bushels from the nine
acres, making an average per acre of 52 7/9 bushels. This I consider a pretty fair record for a volunteer crop and believed that
it would be of interest to prospective land purchasers in this
district. Respectfully yours,
J. H. Lewis.
35 The irrigated lands of the Gallatin Valley, Montana, have
become famous for the quality of barley produced there, particularly for the high percentage of malt and the color and superior
quality of the beer produced from this malt. For this reason
the barley grown there finds a ready market in European countries, and is contracted for in advance of its harvest. The barley grown here is fully equal to that raised in the Gallatin Valley
and commands an equally high price. While in the past it has
been grown with great profit the production has been limited.
As irrigated land furnishes ideal conditions for its growth and
an absolute assurance not only of a high grade yield but of a uniform and thorough maturity of the germinating qualities of the
grain, combined with light color, which is an essential qualification, there is no doubt but it will be one of the staple crops on
this company's irrigated lands.
This part of the Province is today the banner flax growing
section of Canada; the soil and climate are exactly suited to
the production of the maximum amount of seed, and of the
tallest, cleanest and brightest straw. With the successful solution of a new process of making linen from flax straw, this
crop promises to be one of great profit, as under irrigation the
yield of seed and the quantity and quality of the straw reach
their highest development and perfection. The Dominion Government report for 1906 is not yet completed, but that of 1905
gives the average yield in Alberta as 14.34 bushels to the acre.
Compare this average with that of North Dakota, the State
that leads in American flax production, and you will be convinced that Alberta is all right for flax. The average in North
Dakota for 1905 was 11.6 bushels to the acre. The average
yield for the district of Calgary is 28.64 bushels an acre.
The field pea grown in the Bow River Valley, owing to the
climatic conditions and long hours of sunshine in Alberta, is a
small, hard, round pea; not at all like the "cow," "clay" or
"whippoorwill" pea, grown so extensively in the South.
These peas can be fed to sheep in the field from the vine
all winter and also make an excellent feed for hogs. They
make a sweeter and firmer pork than does corn. Western Canada is absolutely free from the ravages of the pea weevil, and
will be called upon to supply the seed for the farmers of the
The modern popularity of alfalfa lies in the fact that it is
perhaps one of the oldest known forage crops, and yet it may
be justly regarded as the agricultural revelation of the latter part
of the last century.
The most attractive feature of the alfalfa field is its lasting
qualities. Near the city of Mexico fields are in existence that
have been constantly cropped and never reseeded for upward
of three hundred years. Alfalfa has not yet reached the point
in Alberta where it may be considered a leading crop. In fact
as this crop can be successfully produced only under irrigation
and as irrigation development on a large scale is of somewhat
recent origin in Southern Alberta, it follows that our experience
with alfalfa is limited. It has, however, been demonstrated beyond the slightest doubt, that alfalfa is a most successful crop
in Alberta, and can be grown in abundance on the irrigated lands
The most instructive data in regard to alfalfa that is applicable to Southern Alberta, may be obtained by studying the
records of the State of Montana. The climatic and soil conditions of Southern Alberta are so much like those of Eastern
and Central Montana, that it may almost be taken for granted
that the life zone of any plant growing successfully in those parts
of Montana, includes also the southern portion of the Province
of Alberta.
Professor Emery, for many years director of the Agricultural College at Bozeman, is responsible for the statement that
alfalfa fields in the Yellowstone district have been cropped for
sixteen consecutive years, and that this plant has been tested
in almost every irrigated county in the State of Montana, and
as a rule succeeds remarkably well. In case of failure it has
usually been found that the cause was due to the water table
being too close to the surface.
In the lower parts of Montana three crops are cut each season, and in the other parts of the State, two. The yield runs
from two to seven tons per acre, depending on the condition of
meadow, the stand, the water supply, etc. Four tons may be
considered a fair estimate of the Montana yield per acre. The
average price for cutting and stacking runs from seventy-five
to ninety cents a ton.
The certainty of the irrigated lands of Southern Alberta
producing alfalfa as a leading crop, opens up a vista of possibilities in many directions. During the early years of settlement in this Province the claim was made that Alberta possessed all the natural conditions to make it one of the leading
live stock countries of the world. When farmers invaded the
ranchmen's domain later on, and numerous crops of winter
wheat and other coarse grains were successfully harvested year
after year, Alberta's fame as the foremost stock country faded,
and the world henceforth knew it only as a great crop-producing
district. The advent of irrigation and alfalfa will again bring
the live stock industry to the front rank in Southern Alberta;
history thus repeating itself.
The popular impression of farming under irrigation is, that
only the most valuable crops, such as fruits and garden produce,
can be profitably grown under artificial watering.    An examina-
tion of the agricultural statistics of the United States, however, reveals the fact that fruit growing and truck farming form
a very small percentage of the areas under irrigation. Fully
80 per cent, of the whole irrigated area of the United States
being devoted to producing crops for the feeding and the finishing of live stock, principally with alfalfa, but including also the
coarse grains. The live stock industry being the foundation of
all irrigation development in America, it is reasonably certain
that live stock husbandry in connection with irrigation farming
will predominate to even a greater extent in Alberta. ^
To further illustrate the minor importance of fruit growing
under irrigation compared with fodder production, it may be
mentioned that in the State of Colorado, out of a total irrigated area of 1,500,000 acres, only 35,000 acres are devoted to
fruit growing, while considerably over a million acres are given
to alfalfa and other fodder crops.
To sum the matter up, it has been shown above that even
in States where irrigated lands command the highest value per
acre, and where the climate admits of the tender fruits being
grown, alfalfa is still one of the leading crops, and greatly out
ranks in importance fruit growing and truck farming. It is
not at present claimed that Southern Alberta will grow the more
tender varieties of fruit, but it has been demonstrated beyond
doubt that the irrigated lands here can and do produce alfalfa,
which is regarded as being the more valuable and profitable
crop in those States where it is grown side by side with fruits.
Hence it is reasonable to say that the rich, virgin alfalfa lands
of the Canadian Pacific Railway irrigation block are fully equal
in value, acre for acre, to the most high priced irrigated lands
in the Western States.
Mr. W. H. Fairfield, the writer of the subjoined letter, was
born in the alfalfa district of Colorado. Subsequent to his coming to Southern Alberta, eight years ago, he was in charge of the
Wyoming Experimental Farm at Laramie, Wyoming, and is recognized as one of the foremost American authorities on alfalfa.
When he came to Southern Alberta he bought an irrigated farm
and as soon as possible put the greater part of it into alfalfa.
His efforts as an irrigator have met with such success that he
has recently been appointed superintendent of the Dominion Experimental Farm located in Southern Alberta.
39 Dominion of Canada, Department of Agriculture, Experimental
Farm for Alberta.
Lethbridge, Alta., Jan. 18th, 1908.
C. P. Irrigation Colonization Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs : Replying to your recent letter asking for my
"experience with alfalfa in Southern Alberta, and my opinion as
to its future possibilities as a forage crop under our climatic and
soil conditions."
In my judgment there is a great future for alfalfa growing
here, our soil is rich and deep and we have plenty of sunshine.
On my private farm, near Lethbridge, there are fields that are
seven years old from which we obtain from two to three cuttings
each season. To obtain maximum results under our conditions
in Southern Alberta irrigation should be practiced, for with irrigation a heavy yield for each cutting may be counted on.
In my judgment alfalfa will become in time the leading crop
on the irrigated lands in the Province, and eventually one of the
most important industries of these districts will be the feeding of
cattle, sheep and hogs. Very sincerely,
(Signed)  W. H. Fairfield, Superintendent.
Alberta soil has proved itself particularly adaptable to the
growth of timothy, and returns large yields in this crop. It has
a fine head and a sturdy stock, and grows to a good height. Three
tons to the acre is no unusual crop, and it finds a ready market
at from $12 to $18 per ton.
Last year a farmer at High River raised under irrigation a
crop which he sold for $52 an acre.
Owing to the ever increasing development in British Columbia
and the Yukon, these sections will afford a sure market for the
timothy crop of Southern Alberta.
No industry lends itself more readily to profitable development under irrigation in Southern Alberta than sugar beet production. With a view to encouraging beet growing, the Canadian Pacific Railway has arranged to reduce its transportation
charges on beets from points in the irrigation block, east of
Calgary, to the nearest sugar factory, located some 200 miles,
from that city. The Provincial Government pays a bonus on
beets through the sugar companies, and other industries contribute as well toward the rapid development of this important
industry. The result is that the price paid to farmers for sugar
beets at the nearest railway station in the irrigation block has
been fixed at $5.00 per ton f.o.b. cars. The average price paid
for beets for the whole of the United States, according to the
last census, was only $4.18 per ton. In the State of Minnesota
a minimum price of $4.25 per ton has been established by law.
The price paid for beets in Utah, one of the foremost of beet
growing States, was $4.25 a ton,, with an average yield of 11.4
tons an acre. It is generally considered that 15 to 16 tons to the
acre is a fair crop.    In the State of Washington up to 32^4 tons
an acre were produced by actual weight. It is only a question of a year or two when factories will be established within
the block itself; the transportation cost will then be saved to
the farmer, and the beets will net him from $5.50 to $5.60 a ton
at the station.
The most favorable soil for sugar beets is conceded to be a
soil which carries a generous quantity of sand. A clay soil with
a tendency to bake is the most unfavorable. The former class
of soil abounds almost everywhere in the irrigation block, it
is also a well known fact that the farther north the sugar beet
can be successfully grown, other things being equal, the better
the result. The reason for this is that the long cloudless days
of northern latitudes increase the activity of the chlorophyl
cells of the beet leaves, which elaborate the sugar, so that a
greater quantity of sugar may be made in proportion to the area
of leaf surface.
Three samples of sugar beets, selected at random from fields
in the company's irrigation block at Strathmore and Gleichen,
during the season of 1907, in a test of them made by the Knight
Sugar Company of Raymond, Alberta, showed co-efficient of
purity 88.1 per cent, and 19.2 per cent, sugar in the beet. This
is an exceptionally good showing when the fact is taken into consideration that beet sugar factories in the States are paying the
highest market price for beets that test as high as 80 per cent,
co-efficient and 12 per cent, sugar in the beet.
It may here be mentioned that the average percentage of sugar
in beet, in connection with a series of analysis of Montana grown
beets in 1898, was only 11.2, while the total average for Montana
analyses for 1897, 1898 and 1899 was 12.1; even in Utah, one of
the best beet sugar producing States, the percentage was only
14.3 for the above-mentioned period. It may, therefore, be safely
concluded that Alberta possesses unequalled advantages on the
score of the quality of the beets that can here be produced.
The labor problem has always been regarded as the most
serious one in connection with sugar beet culture. In this
respect the irrigation block is fortunately situated. The Black-
foot Indian Reserve is located contiguous to the block. The
Indians take considerable interest in farm work, and generally
hire out on hay contracts and similar farm work during the
Letters in Proof
This company has at hand facts from which might be written
a book so large that the average person would have neither the
time nor the inclination to read it. And with all that this book
might tell there would be nothing nearly so convincing, nor that
would carry nearly so much weight, as would a few short letters by people from various parts of the country, south, east and
west, who have actually been upon the ground, and for themselves
at first hand,  acquired  a knowledge  of conditions  here  that it
41 would be impossible to gather in any other manner. After all,
it is really the man who has put a country to the test and proved
its worth who is best qualified to speak for it. For that reason
the following letters, which speak for themselves, are submitted.
La Porte, Ind., Dec.  io, 1907.
C. P. I. C. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs : I am in receipt of your letter of the 30th ultimo
asking for my opinion of your irrigated lands. Last spring after
having sold out my business in Three Oaks, Michigan, I had
the pleasure of taking a trip on your special car "Calgary" to see
your Canadian lands. This was in the month of April. Previous
to this, I had been in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, looking at
land some of which was very good, but I found that their winters
were very cold and practically all that could be grown was wheat
(Spring wheat), oats and flax.    I had also been in the Dakotas
and Minnesota looking at land and my reasons for buying your
irrigated land is as follows:
The quality of the soil, a heavy chocolate loam which will
never bake, and in my opinion a better soil does not lay out of
The abundance of water for irrigation and the fact that it is
delivered to your farm at a very low cost of 50 cents per acre
per annum.
The excellent railroad facilities which are far in advance of
what we have here.
You have good markets, not far from the Coast for export,
and the city of Calgary is bound to be a large city. From what
I have learned from old settlers during my stay there, which was
several months, the winters are quite mild as a rule and the
summer months are fine.
iiffim Willi T¥r "
43 During my stay there last summer, I broke ioo acres on my
quarter section, built a nice house and barn Also had a well
drilled and I wish to say that the water is fine. I intend to put
the ioo acres into flax next spring. I also wish to say that the
crops I saw grown and harvested were very fine and the yields
were large. I think in five years these same lands will be selling
from $50 to $100 per acre, because so many things can be grown
successfully, such as winter and spring wheat, oats, flax, barley,
sugar beets, potatoes, and all kinds of vegetables. The large
price that is obtained for sugar beets will alone make it a great
country. I intend to move to Alberta next March and make it
my home. Yours very truly,
(Signed) Otto F. Bremer.
Morning Sun, Iowa, Dec. 21, 1907.
C. P. I. C. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs: You wrote me some time since as regards my
opinion of your lands. I will say in return that during the months
of July and August, 1907, I traveled over 6,000 miles looking for
snaps in the land proposition and when I came to your land in
Southern Alberta near Strathmore and Calgary, I saw the greatest bargains of my trip. For quality of soil there is none better
in Canada or the United States. The quality of soil is equal to
Iowa corn land and the rich Missouri and Mississippi River bottoms. The pasture is unexcelled anywhere. The climate in
Southern Alberta is very fine—much better than it is farther east.
The railroad service and markets are very good. Good prices
for produce prevail. The lay of your land is fine, and will, without a question raise wonderful crops for I saw some of them this
year. I paid $15 per acre in July and August, 1907, for my non-
irrigated land and $25 per acre for my irrigated land. I would
not entertain a raise of $10 per acre for my land and sell it. It
is not for sale. And I will advise all who want a good home
on easy terms to look over your proposition.
Yours sincerely,
(Signed) W. F. Bowser.
Sawyer, Kansas, Dec. 15, 1907.
C. P. I. C. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs: In March, 1907, I invested in Western Kansas
wheat land. Being favorably impressed with the profits to be derived from farming by business methods, I began searching for a
more favorable location regarding soil, markets, etc., and where
the certainty of sufficient moisture would insure an annual profit.
Now the soil of Western Kansas, the Texas Panhandle and
Eastern Colorado is well adapted to mixed farming but the rainfall is too uncertain so that farming in these sections is much
like gambling.
After considerable investigation of Western lands, my attention was directed to the irrigable lands of the Canadian Pacific
Railroad near Calgary, and in August I left Kansas for a trip
to Alberta.
After satisfying myself that the land and the water title were
all that was claimed for them, I bought 320 acres, Sec. 11-22-26.
This half section was selected in preference to land both in the
United States and the other parts of Canada because of the following facts: The soil being a deep, black, sandy loam is well
adapted to irrigation, this soil will not bake or become lumpy
with the application of water. Irrigation insures a larger and
more certain yield. It is essential to the most successful growing of sugar beets, and that sugar beets can be profitable grown
in Alberta has been clearly demonstrated in the past few years.
Irrigation farming under Canadian laws is not the haphazard
occupation encountered by the farmers in many of the irrigated
districts of the Western States. This land can be purchased at
an extremely low price, for irrigated land.
There is a good market for all farm products. One of the
largest railroad systems in the world stands back of this irrigation project; a railroad that realizes that its interests and the
settler's are mutual.
Today this land, with its broad gently sloping sweeps of virgin prairie, means opportunity for the man of enterprise and a
little capital. But of its opportunities a few years hence who
can tell?
Here and there scattered over this vast tract with its thousands of prosperous farmers will be immense factories turning
out daily their many tons of beet sugar. Here will be grown
millions of bushels of Alberta Red that will keep many a wheel
turning in the flour mills of Europe. Here will be produced
tons of the finest creamery butter manufactured.
What then will this land be worth? Land that will produce
under proper cultivation from 40 to 60 bushels of No. 1 winter
wheat or 16 to 20 tons of sugar beets to the acre. What is the
value of such land? But above all the profits to be derived from
the cultivation of such land and the certain rapid rise in value,
there is one's health to be considered. Alberta with its wealth of
pure, fresh air laden with ozone from the snow-capped Rockies
to the West, with its dry, sunny days, and its cool summer
nights, offers to the settler an assurance of good vigorous health
that doctors and medicine cannot give.
To the enterprising farmer who is looking for cheapest land,
with good soil, plenty of moisture, good markets, and a healthful
climate, Alberta, offers today, the best location in the great West.
I am looking forward with eagerness to the rapid development of this vast territory.
Assuring you that my best efforts will be given to help attain
this development, I remain, Very truly yours,
(Signed) Gaylord Gibson.
Wilsonville, Nebr., Jan. 1, 1908.
C. P. I. C. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs : Replying to your letter of Nov. 30th, 1907, will
say I have travelled over a number of States from the extreme
45 southern states to extreme north and from the middle east to
. the Rocky Mountains in the West. When I made my first trip
to Alberta, Canada, I was very prejudiced against that country
and had no thought of buying land there, but after looking the
country over thoroughly, I became much interested in it and
bought one section of land before leaving there. This trip was
made in July, 1906. Since that time I have sold my land in Fulton County, Illinois, and also all my land in Nebraska. Today, I
have not a foot of real estate in the United States and am improving my land in Canada which is situated in the Calgary and
Gleichen districts under the C. P. R. irrigation ditch. Some
people may ask why I preferred the Alberta country to that of
Illinois or Nebraska. In answer will say in the first place the
climate is much better in Alberta, Canada, than it is either in
Illinois or Nebraska. The winters are no worse and the summers are much pleasanter in Central and Southern Alberta than
they are in those two states.
The general opinion of people through the states is that the
winters are long and cold through all Canada, much longer and
colder than  through Iowa,  Illinois,  Nebraska or Kansas—when
the fact is the winters are not as long in Central and Southern
Alberta as in those states and in Alberta you do not have to feed
stock as many months as you do in those States- Last April I
made my second trip to Canada and at that time the winter was
bad, very cold and lots of snow through Nebraska, Wyoming
and Montana as I passed through those states on my way to
Canada. When I arrived at Calgary I found the weather fine,
the snow all gone and the farmers were discing their ground for
spring grain. I remained in that part of the country until the
fore part of June. At that time the spring grain had been sown
ten days to two weeks, as I passed through North Dakota and
Minnesota they were still seeding. This summer I have had
occasion to make a trip to Canada about once every 30 days
and have certainly had a chance to witness the vast difference in
the climate there and in the States. I am frank to confess that
the summer climate cannot be equalled in any country, I have
ever visited. There are no wind and dust storms such as we have
in Nebraska and Kansas. There are no heavy wind or rain
storms as we have in the States. Everything goes to make up a
most agreeable and comfortable place to live in.    The water in
47 most places cannot be beat for its purity and there can be plenty
of it found at a depth of from io to 80 feet. As for railroad
and market facilities, we consider them first class and do not
have to wait for railways to be built or markets to spring up as
we have them to start in with. I paid for my land when bought
$25, for irrigable and $15 for non-irrigable. This I consider a
very low price. The man that purchases this land, in my mind,
is making an investment that cannot be equalled in any country
for this reason:—taking this from an agricultural view, our
crops from sod broken late last summer and disced only one time
before seeding to oats, yielded 80 bushels per acre. We marketed
our oats from the thresher at 38 cents a bushel. From this you
will readily see that the first crops from sod, including your
labor, more than pays for your land. I took up there in my car
last spring 20 bushels of speltz and drilled it in sod that was
plowed in the fall. The yield was very satisfactory and quality
could not be beat in any country. This is going to be one of the
coming crops for Alberta in my mind as it is next to corn. Some
experiment stations say it is equal to corn for feeding hogs and
cattle. Some of my neighbors' crops were much better than
mine, as they had their ground in better condition. They raised
100 bushels of oats and as high as 91 bushels of barley per acre
off land broke last summer, but well pulverized before seeding.
Some of their wheat went as high as 50 bushels this year.
My land in Illinois was valued at $118 per acre, my rent
which was two-fifths brought me about an average of Z72 Per
cent., and land decreasing in value. My land in Nebraska paid
me about 8 per cent., but was increasing in value. But I considered the top price had arrived for land in the state of Nebraska
last spring and sold my land here. My opinion this far was
right as our crops were very short here this year and land has
again taken a drop and there is no chance to sell at a profit. As
to the value of my land in Alberta, judging from an agricultural
point of view, it is well worth $60 as an investment. I firmly
expect to see in three to five years this same land that the C. P.
R. is selling now for $15 and $25 per acre sell from $50 to $100
per acre and it will be a good investment even at that price. I
will close by saying that I will be glad to answer any letters of
inquiry and give any information I may be able to give at any
time to anyone who wishes to write me at Wilsonville, Nebraska.
Respectfully yours,
(Signed) W. R. Payne.
Napa, California, R. F. D. No. 1, Dec. 27, 1907.
C. P. I. C. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs : Replying to yours of Nov. 29th, will say that in
my experience for and inspection of lands suitable for agricultural purposes or stock raising, and general farming has been
interesting and successful as regards my own interests, but not
very extensive. Have been over considerable areas in this state
and the territories also as far south as Florida.    I was induced
to visit Alberta last July to inspect the C. P. R. irrigated block
for the express purpose of buying if the land in itself seemed
to be desirable and the conditions otherwise seemed favorable. I
was given every attention and assistance by your obliging officials
and upon inspection found the soil excellent and I think the railroad facilities will be ample, the climate is said to be fine. I believe it is very healthy and I am quite ready to take the chances
on that point. I paid $15 and $25 an acre for my land and consider it a reasonable price and expect it to advance to $50 an
acre in three to five years. I am well satisfied with my purchase
as are all those with whom I have spoken and who have also
bought land. My people here and more particularly my sons,
one of whom anticipates taking charge of the half section we
already have bought. We purpose breaking the whole tract in
the coming spring and summer if possible and put in as much
spring crop as seems advisable. We look for a great future for
that great country and particularly the C. P. R. irrigated block
for reasons which are obvious to those who are willing to give
due credit to facts, which are well known. I inspected the lands
in the vicinity of Fort Macleod 18 years ago and find that the
favorable opinion I formed then of that part, has been proved
to be justifiable, but I am better pleased with my half section
near Calgary on the C. P. R. irrigated block.
Yours  sincerely,
(Signed)  Chas. H. Sanders.
Gleichen, Alberta, January 22, 1908   .
Canadian Pacific Irrigation Col. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs : Your letter of November 30th received, and I
take pleasure in complying with your request. Before purchasing land of you at Gleichen, I had an opportunity of making a
very thorough investigation of land in Arizona, Utah, Idaho and
parts of Colorado. My reason for selecting land here in preference to land in those states was that I found it to be cheaper,
the soil of a much better character than I found it in the majority
of localities in the states mentioned, and the opportunities for a
young man are much better here. In many instances, I have
seen larger crops grown here without irrigation than can be
raised in some parts of the states referred to with irrigation.
. I have .now spent two years in Southern Alberta and believe
the climate here is one that will appeal favorably to at least 99
out of 100 people. Being situated along the line of a transcontinental railway, I know that the facilities for moving crops are
much better than they possibly could be if we were located on
some small branch line. I found that the markets here are much
better and more accessible than they were in many parts of the
States to the south.
My land here cost me $25 for irrigable and $15 for non-irrigable areas. Probably the best manner in arriving at its probable value would be to make a comparison of it with land that I
have worked and am acquainted with at Blackfoot, Idaho.   Land
49 1
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there is selling at from $50 to $150 per acre. The $50 per acre
land is gravelly and very poor quality, while the $150 per acre
land is of light soil with no sub-soil to speak of. In fact, I
know that if the farmers of Blackfoot could have the sub-soil
here for a top soil they would consider themselves very fortunate. Here the soil is a rich, dark, sandy loam, over-topping a
chocolate loam and underlaid with a sub-soil that will retain
Wheat in Idaho will average about 15 bushels to the acre,
while wheat in my district here will run from 30 to 35 bushels
to the acre. A yield here of 85 to 100 bushels to the acre for
oats or barley is no uncommon thing. With all the natural advantages here greater those of the Snake River Valley, Idaho, I
feel sure that a conservative estimate will place the value of land
here in the next three to five years at from $50 to $75 per acre.
Of course as settlement continues, this land will rapidly advance
to the maximum in value which should, at least, equal values in
the less fertile districts in the States to the south, where land
is being sold at from $100 to $150 per acre.
Yours truly,
(Signed) Jas. Naylor.
Strathmore, Alta., Dec. 17, 1907.
C. P. I. C. Co., Calgary, Alta.
Dear Sirs : It is now just about four months since I came
out here and I thought you would like to know what progress I
have made on the land.   During this short time, I can truly say
that I am more than satisfied with what I have accomplished. I
have built a- substantial four roomed house, dug out a large cellar
and a well. I have also put up a good sized stable and outhouse
and have put up about 30 tons of hay of which we have an abundance here. In addition, too, I have fenced 160 acres and the
first post holes were dug on the 2nd of December. I have broken
and harrowed 25 acres of the finest land one could wish to see.
It will grow grain of all kinds and different kinds of vegetables.
I consider the land is well adapted for mixed farming. I am
now thoroughly prepared for the winter, which I judge is close
upon us. As yet the weather has been all that can be desired—
bright and cloudless—and with a great deal of sun. I have not
seen a nicer fall during the last ten years. I may say I have
previously lived in Montana and in Michigan and the weather
there was much colder for the time of year than it has been here.
Most of my neighbors round here have come from the United
States and they all seem surprised at the mildness of the climate.
The greater part of my land can be irrigated which will be an
undoubted advantage as if a dry season comes, I have nothing
to fear and this together with the fine soil and even climate led
me to choose this part in preference to land I have seen elsewhere. I consider this land will double its value in a very short
time, and feel satisfied no one can make a mistake in buying land
in this district
Thanking you for the trouble you have taken in locating me
here,  I remain, yours  faithfully,
(Signed) John J. Kennaugh.
5i Live Stock
In studying the economic side of irrigation, the first fact
that must be clearly grasped is, that the back-bone and foundation of any irrigation enterprise is not by any means the production of either fruits, cereals, roots or garden truck, but the
feeding and finishing of live stock. This has been the history
of irrigation development in every State of the Union. The
proof of this contention is that the total irrigated acreage in
crops in the United States at the time of the decennial census
was sixty-four per cent, in hay and forage. The actual figures
are: Total acreage, 5,712,000 acres; in hay and forage 3,666,000
acres.   This tells the tale.
The lands embraced within the Canadian Pacific irrigation
block are destined to serve the same purpose in regard to the
highest development of the live stock industry, as do the corn
growing States tributary to the great market centres of the
Union, and the irrigated valleys of the Western States. The
time is close at hand when most of the live stock produced in
Alberta, and now marketed in a more or less unfinished condition, will be sent to the rich alfalfa-growing lands east of Calgary, there to be put in prime shape before being exported or
slaughtered. A home market will thus be made available for
all the fodder that can be produced on our irrigated lands at
highly remunerative prices, and with the additional advantage
of having the feed consumed on the irrigated farm and ultimately returned to the soil that grew it, thus maintaining the
fertility for which these lands, have already gained renown.
In breeding horses, Southern Alberta occupies a somewhat
similar position to Canada that Kentucky does to the United
States. Owing to its high altitude, dry and invigorating atmosphere, short and mild winters, and its nutritious grasses and
inexhaustible supply of clear, cold water, it is pre-eminently
adapted for breeding horses, and the Southern Alberta animal
has already become noted for its endurance, lung power and
perfect freedom from hereditary and other diseases. There are
in Southern Alberta several grades of horses, varying in point
of quality from the hardy Indian pony (cayuse) to the beautiful
well-formed thoroughbred.
Heavy draught horses are now finding a ready sale at
highly paying prices. Teams, weighing 3,200 lbs. and upward,
are worth $400 and more. Between 2,800 and 3,200 lbs., the
average price would be $375, and the value of teams weighing
between 2,400 and 2,800 lbs., is $300 and upward, according to
Owing to the mildness of the climate, horses can be w;n_
tered outside at a nominal expense, consequently, no country
in the world can compare with Southern Alberta in horse raising.
Inasmuch as it costs no more in Southern Alberta to raise
a four-year-old colt than a steer of the same age, it will be
seen that horse production here, with the necessary capital, is
an easy road to success.
We have already briefly referred to the question of beef
production, with special reference to Southern Alberta's nutritious grasses. The feeding effect of the cured prairie grasses
puts a finish on beef almost equal to grain. Southern Alberta
is now supplying the province of British Columbia with beef,
as well as the Yukon Territory. In addition a large export
business to Great Britain is done.
It is a fact that the cattle of this section are of much better
quality and breeding than the average run of range stock in
the Western States. The best pure-bred bulls are being generously used. It is an interesting fact that the City of Calgary is
the home of the largest individual pure-bred cattle auction in
the world. This sale takes place in the month of April each
year, and on that occasion stockmen gather from far and near
to purchase their bulls and to transact other business. Shorthorns, Herefords, Polled Angus and Galloways are the chief
breeds, while a few Holsteins and Ayrshires are produced.
For the smaller breeders, while dairying and beef production
must necessarily go hand in hand, a good milking strain of
Shorthorns is found the most profitable.
To show what kind of cattle are produced, it may be mentioned that a train-load of four-year-old steers from a ranch
near Cochrane, after being driven 140 miles, and shipped by rail
2,300 miles to Montreal, weighed at the end of the trip, on the
average, 1,385 lbs. Four year-olds and long threes have during
the past four years netted the owners from $40 to $50 on the
range; three-year-olds and good cows, $32 to $37 each; old
cows from $24 to $28. Calves from six to eight months old are
worth from $10 to $14. However, prices seem to be advancing,
and one shipment of cattle from Alberta to Chicago last fall
averaged   $70 a   head, ranging   in price   from   $53.34   to $85.18.
Sheep, in eommon with other stock, have always prospered
on native Alberta grasses. With the growth of alfalfa and field
peas on our irrigated lands will come a marked extension of the
53 :;".;    :  ;; .    ■    ■
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sheep-raising industry, and the ever-increasing population in the
eastern part of Western Canada, where, for climatic and other
reasons, stock raising is not profitable, will forever guarantee
a satisfactory market.
Those engaged in sheep raising are enjoying unparalleled
prosperity. Mutton and wool now command top prices. Flockmasters in Alberta will not be affected for many years to come
by the great fluctuations in sheep products. Woolen mills are
being established in the West and a good local market for mutton is available in British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Province of Manitoba. The principal market for Alberta-grown
mutton is at present the Province of British Columbia and the
Yukon Territory. The requirements of the Province of Manitoba are not as yet very considerable, but with the large growth
of urban population and the gradual acquirement of a taste for
mutton, noticeable all over the civilized world, it is quite certain
that Manitoba will in time become a valuable market for Alberta
mutton. During the past year some 5,000 head of Alberta sheep
were sent to the Manitoba market, and no more being available,
it was found necessary to draw upon the Province of Ontario
for a considerable number. These sheep were thus sent some
2,000 miles to supply a market right at the front door of Alberta.
The markets in British Columbia and the Yukon are susceptible
of expansion, as considerable mutton is now being brought in
from the United States and the colony of New South Wales,
amounting to over 20,000 carcasses annually, which also might
be supplied from Alberta.
As might be expected in a district where the dairy industry
is growing so rapidly, hog raising, affording as it does, the most
economical method of realizing the largest profits from skimmed
milk and othed dairy by-products, is a very important branch of
farming in Southern Alberta. The soil conditions and the climate, which are so eminently suited for dairying, are also productive of those crops which make the cheapest pork.
As a foundation for winter feeding, all root crops can be
grown with great success under irrigation. Large crops of turnips, beets or mangolds, are produced with ordinary field cultivation.
The mildness of the winter season makes it unnecessary to
have the costly buildings which are essential to profitable feeding in the winter time in the colder climates, thus enabling farmers of moderate means to have fat hogs to sell when the highest
prices are obtainable, during the late winter and early spring
months. For some years past the fluctuation in prices has been
very slight, the net prices received by the farmers being seldom
under five cents in the autumn and six cents in the spring and
summer months (live weight), and at these prices farmers have
made good profits.
Calgary, the live stock centre of Alberta, has an excellent
pork-packing establishment where top prices are paid.
The Provincial Government maintains at Calgary the largest
and most important "dairy station" and cold storage plant in the
West. Some years ago our dairymen became dissatisfied with
the private creameries which were then in operation throughout
the country, and asked the Government to take charge of these
institutions. The Dominion authorities fell in with the request,
placed experts at the disposal of the dairymen, and eventually
organized a chain of co-operative creameries all through the
country. These creameries are subject to the control of the
patrons, through boards of directors, under absolute Government
management.    Most of the patrons separate their milk at home
55 by means of hand separators and bring their cream to the dairy
station from three to four times a wek. The cream is then carefully tested and weighed, and at the end of every month each
patron gets credit for the equivalent of his cream in butter, and
receives a cash advance of ten cents per pound.
At the end of 30 or 60 days a cheque for the balance due each
patron is sent to him from the Department of Agriculture. A
uniform charge of four cents a pound is made by the Government for manufacturing, and one cent a pound is deducted to
create a fund for purchasing buildings and machinery, of which
the patrons become part owners to the extent of the amount
which they contribute in this manner. Any settler having the
means to procure a few milch cows can thus insure a cash income from the first day he starts on his land. The butter is sold
principally in British Columbia and the Yukon District. A trade
is also being developed by the Government in China and in
Japan. This creamery service has recently been placed under the
control of the Provincial Government.
Here is our dairying combination: A never-ceasing abundance of the best food for cows; our nutritious native grasses,
supplemented by alfalfa and peas; an abundance of fresh, pure
water; the absence of mosquitoes and of flies, with our'provincial
creameries taking charge of the cream, manufacturing it into
butter and finding the best market, all at a nominal charge of
four cents per pound, a cheque to the farmer the first of every
month and a home market already greatly in excess of the production and constantly and rapidly expanding.
The year 1906 has been the most successful dairy season since
creameries were established in Alberta. From less than four
hundred pounds of butter in 1902 the output has steadily increased until 1,050,536 lbs. were manufactured in 1906.
The following table will show the volume of increase in output
during the past three years :—
No.        Lbs. Butter       Value at No.       price at
Year   Creameries   Manuf'd        Creameries    Patrons Creameries
1904    7 293,356       $60,443.38 444       20.67
1905    12 813,430 173,671.40        1,201        21.35
1906   18       1,050,356 222,970.77       1,755       21.23
While the dairying statistics  for 1907 have not as yet been
compiled. There was an increase of three creameries and 2 cents
per pound in the average price of butter at the creameries in
that year.
There is a large field in Southern Alberta for the industrious poultry-raiser. A few acres and a few hundred chickens will yield a good income. With eggs at 25 to 50 cents a
dozen and dressed poultry at from 15 to 22 cents a pound on
the Calgary market, little need be said about the profits of this
valuable feature of the Southern Alberta farm.
An excellent market exists in the province of British Columbia for poultry products, and this market is enlarging every
year. An egg gathering station is maintained in Calgary by the
Government, where the highest market price is paid for eggs,
and from which periodical shipments are made to Western points.
No less than $367,950 worth of poultry and eggs were imported
into Calgary by jobbers alone during 1906 for distribution at
Alberta and British Columbia points. It only remains for our
farmers to go into the poultry business on a larger scale in order
to have this money circulated in Alberta. Our climate is ideal
for poultry-raising, and our market is the best in Canada.
Turkey raising has come to be an industry of importance.
In parts of this section, where range is good, thousands of these
birds grow and fatten for market in the coast cities, and thousands of dollars are brought into the country every year through
this business alone. Where large areas of wheat stubble may be
utilized for forage ground, the expense of putting turkeys upon
the market is small, inded.
Farm land values are largely governed by six things—climate,
soil, moisture, settlement, railroads and markets. But the greatest of these is Markets. No matter how fine the climate, or how
rich the soil, or how sufficient the rainfall, without a market for
that which the land produces there will be found no settlement.
In support of the foregoing statement the lands of Western
Canada may be used as an illustration. Lands that a few years
ago could not be sold for a dollar an acre—in fact, they could
not be sold at all, are today attracting more people than any
other agricultural section of the world. Here for centuries have
been the climate, the soil and the moisture. But, possessing
these three great natural advantages, it was still practically uninhabited. It was lacking that one great essential—a market. Here
were millions of acres possessed of great potential wealth that
were but awaiting the awakening touch of man to be added to the
available wealth of the world. The awakening came slowly, and it
was only after the promoters of the Canadian Pacific Railway had
constructed that road, and spent years in educational work, that
the world at large began to realize that here was a country possessing all the natural advantages claimed by older communities;
that land here just as good as could be found in the older settlements could be had almost for the asking.
With the realization of the foregoing facts came the people,
who found that a railway had preceded them and that markets
already existed for anything that they might care to raise. These
markets are capable of great expansion, and assure to the agriculturist the prevailing prices of the world. An assured market
means added value to every acre of land in Western Canada, and
the near future will see lands that are now selling at exceptionally low prices begin to increase in value, just as they have done
in the United States during the past few years. For all of
which, markets made possible by the railways, are responsible.
Calgary alone has 12 public schools, including a high school
complete in every essential, the Provincial Normal, the Western
Canada College for Boys, the St. Hilda's College and the St.
Mary's  Convent for girls.
The Bank Clearings of Calgary for October, 1907, were
$5,868,893—an increase of $178,479 over 1906 in spite of the fact
that business was supposed to be much less throughout the country in 1907 than it was in 1906.
Custom receipts at various Alberta points, were $604,358.61
for 1907, as against $363,286.91 in 1906.
In several of Calgary's thirteen busy banks, from twelve to
sixteen clerks are employed. The stone business blocks, churches,
etc., would do credit to any modern city.
Calgary has an unlimited supply of both anthracite and bituminous coal surrounding the city. Besides the finest of steam
and domestic coals, there is now under way the construction of
water power plants capable of developing 100,000 horse power.
Living in Calgary is as cheap as it is in the United States, and
labor is readily obtained. There are today as many industrial
opportunities in Calgary as there were in St. Paul, Minneapolis,
Chicago or St. Louis a few years ago.
More railroads are projected into Calgary than to any other
point west of Winnipeg. Within two years the city will be entered by the Great Northern, Canadian Northern, and the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railways. Calgary is a general divisional point of
the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the lines for Edmonton and
Macleod start from here. The annual pay roll of the Canadian
Pacific Railway at Calgary is considerbly over a million dollars
and it employs fully 1,000 men.
One of the advantages awaiting the coming of the settler
in this irrigation block is the telephone.
In the construction of this irrigation system it was necessary
to erect a telephone line between the various engineering headquarters and Calgary. The Bell Telephone Company of Canada
is going to put in an exchange and connect this line with its system, which will give to the block all the advantages of the long
distance telephone and at rates much lower than are charged by
any other telephone company.
does not cease. In fact, it only commences. The railway company is vastly interested in the success of every purchaser, who
at once becomes a patron of the road. Under the circumstancs,
the policy has been adopted within the Irrigation Block of rendering newcomers every aid possible. The Demonstration Farms'
staff is always ready to assist new colonists, and on some of the
farms are maintained pure-bred bulls and boars of the best breeding for the use of the settlers.
Realizing fully the magnitude of the task involved in colonizing the huge area of land embraced in the Irrigation Block,
and the importance of placing at the disposal of settlers there
expert advice and assistance the company operates at central
points farms devoted to demonstrating the agricultural possibilities of the tract. As a rule, when a corporation is in the land
business, once they have sold a new settler a farm, their interest
in the transaction ceases. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company is in an entirely different position. When a parcel of land
has been finally sold that company's interest in the transaction
The pendulum of prices on most commodities swings backward and forward. Not so, however, with reference to the price
of land. They are going higher every year, and because each
year sees the number of people to be fed increasing, nothing can
check the upward movement of land. The time to buy land is
now, while it is cheap, so that advantage may be taken of the
rise in values which is taking place every day, and is rapidly increasing with the settlement of the land. If you own land now
that is worth $50 to $100 an acre, you can sell it and secure five
acres of the most productive lands in the world here for every
acre you now own elsewhere. The increase in land values here
will be as marked as it has been in older settled communities
You can readily estimate what this increase will mean to you.
.61 The following table will furnish some idea of the difference
in taxes paid in Western Canada and in some of the Middle and
Western States:—
That as nearly as possible an actual comparison may be made
the taxes paid on a farm of 5So acres located six miles from
Calgary, valued with its improvements and personal property
at $44,000 is taken as a fair example of the amount of taxes paid
in Western Canada, while the tax schedules furnished by various
county treasurers in the States have been used in arriving at
the amount of taxes that would be collected there on a piece of
farm land with improvements and personal property of the same
valuation, viz., $44,000.
Value    Valuation       Taxes
Calgary   : $44,000 $ 38.25
Saunders   County,   Nebr	
Pottawatomie   County,   Iowa... 44,000 11,000 319.00
Gallatin County, Mont 44,000 11,000 232.00
Cook County, 111  44,000 8,800 278.96
In selecting the foregoing figures those dealing with the States
have not been selected from counties with the highest or lowest
tax rate but from counties that most nearly meet the average
tax of all the counties in their respective States.
Realizing the traffic these lands will produce when fully settled the railway company has placed them upon the market at a
price that is certain to colonize them in the shortest possible
The best quality of non-irrigable winter wheat and pasture
land is now being sold for $15 an acre, while the irrigable land,
generally attached to non-irrigable land, is selling for $25 an acre.
The terms of payment, however, are so liberal that the purchaser
will have made more out of his land before his final payment
becomes due than the land has cost him.
For full and detailed information regarding land referred to
in the preceding pages, apply to the Canadian Pacific Irrigation
Colonization Company, Calgary, Alberta; and for any further
facts regarding the irrigation project, apply J. S. Dennis, Superintendent of Irrigation, Canadian Pacific Railway Company, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Settlers are allowed to bring in free of duty wearing apparel,
also household goods and farm machinery that has been in use
for at least six months, one animal each of neat stock or horses
for each ten acres of land purchased, and one head of sheep for
each acre. Stock will be passed only upon a certificate of a quarantine inspection officer.
Portland, Ore., via Sumas, B. C.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $153.60
Less than carload lots       1.50 per cwt.
Chicago, via N. Portal, Sask.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $ 72.00
Less than carload lots       0.90 per cwt.
Kansas City, via N. Portal, Sask.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $ 91.20
Less than carload lots       1.15 per cwt.
Omaha, via N. Portal, Sask.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $ 88.80
Less than carload lots       0.90 per cwt.
St. Paul, via N. Portal, Sask.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $ 45.00
Less than carload lots       0.67 per cwt.
Denver, via St. Paul and North Portal, Sask.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $189.60
Less than carload lots       2.52 per cwt.
New York, via Buffalo.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $264.00
Less than carload lots       1.72 per cwt.
Carload lots of 24,000 lbs $156.00
Less than carload lots.;,       1.24 per cwt.
Chicago    $41.00
Omaha  47.00
Kansas City  49.20
St. Louis   44.00
St. Paul   33.00
Twenty-one days' limit.   Excursions 1st and 3rd Tuesdays,
February to December 1908, inclusive.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Jonathan Johnston & Son,
Walla Walla, Wash.


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