Agriculture Capability Mapping

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Published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries - Innovation and Adaptation Services
Licensed under Open Government Licence - British Columbia

The Agriculture Capability mapping dataset is the digitized equivalent of the legacy Agriculture Capability Scanned Maps, which date from the 1960's to the 1990s. Agriculture Capability mapping is also known as 'Soil Capability for Agriculture' and 'Agricultural Capability' mapping.

Agricultural Capability is an interpreted mapping product based on soil and climate information. In general, climate determines the range of crops possible in an area and the soils determine the type and relative level of management practices required. This is legacy data and changes in climate are not reflected. For more information about the classification system see: Land Capability Classification for Agriculture.

Use caution utilizing these legacy maps as the classifications were based on common land management practices and typical crops of the 1960s-1990s era, and subsequent site specific land management practices (e.g. installation of drainage) may have modified the soil conditions since the mapping was completed.

This Agriculture Capability legacy mapping is included in the Soil Information Finder Tool (SIFT) mapping application. The SIFT application provides more detailed climate data (e.g. Growing Degree Days, Frost Free Period (5 C), (1960-1990 climate normals). The SIFT 'Soil query tools' may be useful for identifying areas with specific 'growing conditions' of interest based on soils present (soil name), soil texture, drainage, coarse fragment content, slope, elevation, growing degree days and frost free period.

Note: This Agriculture Capability Mapping dataset is based on soil mapping at 1:100,000, 1:50,000 or 1:20,000 scale, and is more detailed than the 1:250,000 scale Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Agricultural Capability mapping (available here).

Data and Resources

Dataset Extent

Latitude: 48.0° to 60.0°
Longitude: -139.5° to -113.5°

Additional Information


The interpretive agriculture potential classification system groups mineral and organic soils into seven classes according to potentials and limitations for agriculture. This classification does not include assessments of a) suitability of the land for production of specific crops, b) productivity (yield per hectare), c) specific management inputs required to reach an acceptable level of production for a particular crop nor d) feasibility of implementain various land improvements to achieve addeptable levels of production.

Data Quality

There are known spatial issues, overlaps and gaps in the data. Topology, line work and attributes are being improved as resourcing allows.

Lineage Statement

The soil surveys (which form the basis of the Agriculture capability interpretation) were mapped on air photographs using mirror stereoscopes then hand transferred to NTS and TRIM map sheets. The agriculture capability maps were redrawn from these soil survey maps, including some merging or splitting of polygons and the addition of agriculture capability classifications. The current digital line work was hand digitized from the legacy hard copy maps.

Contact Information

NameDavid Poon (businessExpert)
OrganizationMinistry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Sub-OrganizationInnovation and Adaptation Services
NameJoan Easton (custodian)
OrganizationMinistry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Sub-OrganizationInnovation and Adaptation Services

Access & Security

Who can view this dataset? Public
Who can download this dataset?Public

Metadata Information

Record Published 2018-04-27
Record Last Modified 2018-11-27
Resource Status completed