Manitoba has an area of 250,116 square miles, 36,387 square miles of inland waters. Manitoba measures 760 miles from north to south. Along the southern border the distance from east to west is 280 miles, although the widest point in Manitoba measures 490 miles.
Farm land occupies about 14% percent of Manitoba's land, and crops are raised on 62% of the farmland. In 2001 there were 21,071 farms in Manitoba, with the average farm size of 361 hectares (892 acres). About three-quarters of all Manitoba farms specialize in wheat, other grains, oilseeds and livestock .
The prairie pothole region began forming about 12,000 years ago as glaciers receded from the central portion of North America. Retreating ice left behind depressions in the glacial drift that
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The temperature varies dramatically with the seasons. Our winters can be quite cold throughout the province. Winnipeg which is in the southern region (capital city) has temperatures that average a high of 8ºF and a record low of -54ºF. Summers on average are rather warm. Winnipeg's average high is 79ºF, and a high of 108ºF has been recorded.
Southern Manitoba has a fairly long frost-free season, consisting of between 120 and 140 days in the southern region. This decreases to the northeast to towards the Hudson's Bay. Precipitation in southern Manitoba averages 22 inches annually, while 18 inches is received at the western boundary and 15 inches in the far north. Snowfall is not usually heavy, but it tends to accumulate during the long severe winters and gives the impression of great amounts. Most of the moisture occurs as rain in the summer.
The two flyways that Birdtail Waterfowl Service operates in are the Mississippi Flyway and the Central Flyway. The South Western Manitoba Pothole region acts a critical leg for the migration south. One of the first stops our waterfowl make is in Manitoba's grain fields and also our vast amount of potholes.
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The South Western Manitoba pothole region provides us with a large breeding population of ducks and Canada Geese. The following are statistics on South Western Manitoba according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service: (2003 Waterfowl Population Status.)
- Eastern Prairie Population 229,000
- Western Prairie Population 561,000
- Tall Grass Prairie Population 661,800
- Greater Population 1 635,000