The first all-weather road to link Alberta’s Peace Country to the rest of the world was built in the 1930s. As road trips go, it was a doozy. The dirt track was no more than a glorified trail that linked Edmonton with Fort St. John in northeast British Columbia by way of Lesser Slave Lake. A South Peace Historical Society writeup describes it as “a twisting, squirming route that turned into an impassable bog of gumbo after frequent cloudbursts.” It was known locally as the worst road in North America.
The cover story of our upcoming fall issue, “The Peace process” encompasses a discussion as wide as the Peace itself. It may be literally located in the backwoods, but the Peace is full of farmers who are forward thinking, quick on their feet and always on the lookout for new ways to outplay local climate extremes and build business opportunities.
When it comes to gambling with nature, irrigation may be a Prairie farmer’s ace in the hole. While competition for water resources between users is increasing, innovation in irrigation technology is
providing new tools to help farmers stack the deck in their favour.