In return for building its rail lines, the Winnipeg and Hudson’s Bay Railway had received a grant from the Government of Canada of 6,400 acres per mile for its southern portion and 12,800 acres for the northern portion. In this ad in the March 1887 issue of the Nor’-West Farmer and Manitoba Miller, it was offering 6,880,000 acres for sale for $2.50 per acre.
Elsewhere in the issue, an essay by farmer Peter Drauchell questioned the need for summerfallow.
“Were it not that we can do summer fallowing when other work is light and land is cheap, there is really no need for it on any well-managed and recently broken land. The man who farms with his brains can, by judicious rotation, do entirely without summer fallowing. Deeper ploughing and well-arranged changes from white to green, or from one white crop to another, combined with a system of returning to the land manure taken from it, would carry us along for ten years to come, and still leave is with a reserve fund in the bank of mother earth, which no rascal can steal or skip to the States with.”
“Just now it may often be most convenient to summer fallow, a time may come (as was done in the old country), we will lay aside our summer fallow and depend on manures for food and on grass crops for the necessary intervals of rest.”
“Deep ploughing, occasional surface draining always, and in time under ground draining as well, will form essential parts of the vigorous farming of the future.”