---Soil Drifting
FTLComm - Tisdale - May 5, 2001

The light clay soils around Tisdale are completely pulverised and the wind is distributing the topsoil again today. The picture on the right shows the sky as it appeared Friday afternoon and the dark appearance was due to the large amount of dust in the air.

The wind went down last night but this morning it was roaring along above 30knots from the South. The ominous sound of howling power lines could be heard this

morning as I walked into the steady warm wind. This picture shows the scene looking West South West of Tisdale and the cirrus clouds tell the story of wind and the horizon the story of moving soil.

There has been no appreciable precipitation for two weeks and the run off had been so gradual that desert conditions are now the norm. Though we have soil drifting around Tisdale itself as little as twelve miles East where it is more wooded there was more snow and more precipitation and one farmer was unable to plant peas yesterday because the intended field was still to wet. This suggests that the drought is more of a local problem although reports from the Swift Current area indicate that there is a dangerous prairie fire potential in the area.
This picture (above) shows one of the very successful means of containing soil drifting in soil conditions like those found around Tisdale with its clay soil. This field (also seen at the top of the page) has an abundant layer of trash cover from last year's harvest and though this material is blowing around the soil itself is being held in place by the cover it has which also helps to preserve the moisture content of the soil.

Despite the winds and drought the farmers of the area are pressing on as the plant this years crop in the driest soil conditions anyone has seen here in many years.

This picture (below) shows the amount of blowing dust to the East of Tisdale as we look out some two miles toward the Harvest Valley inland terminal which is partly obscured in blowing fields.