Agroecological Resource Area Databases for the Prairies: User's Manual

V. Kirkwood, A. Bootsma, R. de Jong, J. Dumanski, J. C. Hiley, E. C. Huffman, A. Moore, C. Onofrei, W. W. Pettapiece, B. Vigier

CLBRR Contribution No. 93-17

Technical Bulletin 1993-13E

download data file Abstract


Agroecological Resource Area Databases for the Prairies: User's Manual

The Agroecological Resource Area maps were developed to provide biophysically homogenous units at a scale of 1:2 million which can be used to study agriculture, land use and conservation. These Agroecological Resource Areas (download data file ARAs) represent areas of generally similar agricultural potential, and are based on ecoclimatic zonation, landform and soil characteristics. The ARA boundaries can be seen on the ARA maps for download data file Alberta, download data file Saskatchewan and download data file Manitoba.

The ARAs have served as a convenient planning unit upon which to develop data for use in agricultural research. It is the purpose of this report to document the types of information stored in these data files.

The digitized ARA maps for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and the associated data files, currently reside in an ARC/INFO Geographic Information System (GIS). This GIS is part of the Canada Soil Information System (CanSIS). The common linking factor, or key, between all the ARA data files is the combined ARA number and province designation. ARA numbers are unique within provinces. The addition of the province code makes the key unique country-wide. There is also a linkage, through the soil series code, to the Soil Names File and Soil Layer File, which are stored in the National Soil Data Base.

Data can be exported from these files in Arc Export or ASCII format, along with appropriate file documentation.

Data Files Associated with the Agroecological Resource Area Maps

The data can be grouped into two broad categories: measured or derived physical values which can be used as input to various models; and the output from several crop, soil moisture and climate models.

The following is a list of the various data files in the ARA Database:

Data File Name Description Data Type
download data file CLIMBAS.DAT Basic Climate Data based on 1951-80 normals, reported as average monthly values Derived
download data file CLIMIND.DAT Climate indices derived from the 1951-80 normals Derived
download data file DAILY.DAT Daily climate data, 1955-1985 Measured
download data file ECONOMICS.DAT Economic data, Census of Agriculture, 1981 and 1986 Measured
download data file FORARID.DAT Forage Aridity Index, 1965-1985 Modelled
download data file LANDUSE.DAT Crop proportions, Census of Agriculture, 1981 and 1986 Measured
download data file SIMYLDWH.DAT Output from PIXMOD wheat model Modelled
download data file SOILBASE.DAT General soil and landform information Derived
download data file SOILLINK.DAT Cross tabulation link into Soil Names and Soil Measured
download data file SOILTEMP.DAT Soil temperature data by month Modelled
download data file WHTSTRESS.DAT Wheat stress data using Versatile Soil Moisture Modelled
download data file Appendix A Simulated Wheat Yields: Manitoba Prototype (PIXPROTO.DAT)

download data file References