Drainage management and treatment to address excess nutrient loading

Drainage management and treatment to address excess nutrient loading

Management of excess water on agricultural lands, to reduce or prevent detrimental impacts

Field installation of corrugated plastic drain tubing: Depth and grade

Field installation of corrugated plastic drain tubing: Depth and grade

An analysis of drain depth and grade data recorded during a field installation.

Water for tomorrow: drainage water recycling

Water for tomorrow: drainage water recycling

An integrated system of drainage plus irrigation, called drainage water recycling, is being evaluated as a strategy for managing seasonal variations in water availability

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission has awarded Bowling Green State University $50,000 from the Lake Erie Protection Fund to research into the beneficial use of dredged material. The selected research focuses on the benefits of dredged material for crop production and environmental implications such as nutrient runoff, as well as the effects it has on soil health. | READ MORE
The board of directors of the Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), an organization that promotes drainage water conservation practices, names Keegan Kult as its new executive director. Kult's experience includes a decade as an environmental scientist at the Iowa Soybean Association working on edge-of-field water quality projects. 
In recent years, farmers in Florida have been upgrading their irrigation and drainage systems with the main goals of dialing back water consumption and reducing the kind of nutrient pollution that can lead to dangerous toxic algae blooms like the ones currently affecting the Gulf Coast. | READ MORE
A Vermont legislative committee has decided to postpone a vote on amending farm water quality rules following objections from environmental advocates. | READ MORE
The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors approved improvements that will increase the capacity of drainage tiles at landowners’ costs and install a wetland. The improvements, proposed by the the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as part of its wetland installation for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, will effectively reduce nitrates in run-off while increasing run-off drainage capacity. | READ MORE
The government of Quintana Roo has invested more than 85 million peso in agricultural irrigation and drainage systems for the south of the state.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture proposed new rules that would remove the current restriction on manure application between Dec. 15 and March 1 and instead replace the restriction with circumstantial restrictions.
An opportunity to sit on the Nine Mine Creek Watershed District board in Minnesota is open for members who have a background in water conservation and development. The application deadline is Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. 
Contractors in Iowa with knowledge of land improvement practices that focus on the reduction of contaminants in the groundwater are encouraged to contribute to a local Source Water Protection Team, according to the latest newsletter from Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA).
Town council is looking to conduct an independent study to resolve drainage and water management issues in the rural municipality of Wallace-Woodworth in Manitoba, Canada. 
Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission established a task force to review how to best execute the order to require farmers to keep plans on how fields are fertilized. 
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) is expected to receive 12 high-capacity pumps to assist with the issues of drainage in and along the coastland regions of Guyana.
No official background in drainage or excavating stopped the now 37-year-old Bourke Sprague from building his company, Sprague Excavating LLC, based in Union County, KY.
Don Hodgman was lead foreman for a drainage contractor in West Concord when he set out on his own in 1982.
Mark Morreim, president of Morreim Drainage Inc., has always been involved with farming. He was driving tractors by the time he was 12, raised livestock, and eventually started working for a family-owned company that farmed, sold seed corn and had a commercial fertilizer and custom chemical service.
In this time of increasing scrutiny of tile outflow and nutrient loss, there remains a lack of data to make determinations about best management practices in terms of fertilization rates and timing, as well as factors such as natural mineralization rates.
When long-time friends Sid Boeve and Tyler Russell started Bo-Russ Contracting in Manitoba in 2007, it was just a matter of time before installing tile drainage became one of their services.
Digging ditches is in Bart Maxwell’s blood, going back four generations to 1910 when his great-grandfather, Alexander Maxwell, began laying clay field tile and building small bridges around Montgomery County in Indiana with his brother, Silas.
Under overcast September skies, David Wideman of Wideman’s Farm Drainage marked the end of an era, laying what he believes to be the last clay drainage tile to be installed in Canada.
It was an eventful summer for the folks at Bower Tiling Service Inc. Drainage Contractor first introduced readers to the company three years ago, when we profiled the then 112-year-old business in our Spring 2012 issue. 
Water: the single most important substance in the world. Water: the most available substance in the world. On the surface of those statements it would seem that all is well; we all know there is a “but” lurking within them.  
Traditionally windmills are used to extract water for livestock or irrigation. Not on the Coon Farm.
Take a trip back in time with Luft and Son Farm Drainage, laying field tile in Roosevelt Township, Iowa, circa 1973.
When Fostoria, Ohio, farmer Lanny Boes purchased his first ditch machine 40 years ago, he had no idea it would lead to him starting a drainage contracting company.
Hurricane Michael failed to break up a patchy and toxic algae bloom that has lingered in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida’s shoreline for the last year, experts said Monday, meaning the red tide outbreak could continue to cause problems in the weeks ahead.
Scientists started to develop edge-of-field practices so that growers could keep the early planting offered by the tile drains while protecting nearby streams-and the Gulf of Mexico-from nitrate contamination.
A new regulatory approach in Minnesota, requiring farmers to install buffer strips to reduce nutrient runoff, is showing that mandating water protection methods can make a significant difference. 
Since Lake Erie's algae problems hit a record bloom in 2011, little of substance has been done to combat algae and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to push back on stiff regulation that could have a positive impact. 
Researchers from Ohio State University find that harmful algae is a threat in small ponds and lakes not just large bodies of water like Lake Erie. Large levels of toxins in small bodies of water are concerning, especially when the water is used for recreation, fishing and irrigation.
Iowa State University researchers found that saturated buffers are efficient at removing nitrogen, making it an effective and cost-efficient conservation practice that leads to cleaner water. 
Mole drains could be used in combination with surface drainage to improve soil water conditions on farms with flat, clay soils and potential sites for good subsurface drain outlets.
Andrew Wright, contracts manager for Miles Drainage based near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England, shares why, when and how to mole drain, a method that boosts the efficiency of soil drainage systems. 
The size of the "Dead Zone," a hypoxic area in the Gulf of Mexico that no longer supports aquatic organisms, was reported to be below average and the fourth smallest area mapped since 1985. 
By 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture wants to improve water quality and soil health in the Chesapeake Bay, which touches Virginia and five other states as well as the District of Columbia.
Florida’s toxic algae bloom is wreaking havoc on marine life and jeopardizing the state’s trademark beaches, in an unprecedented season of destruction that experts have linked to pollution and poor environmental policies.
Drones capable of obtaining thermal infrared imagery have the potential to create effective and efficient drainage pipe mapping. 
Soil-conservation district offices statewide are open for the annual sign-up period for Maryland Department of Agriculture's cover crop program from June 21 to July 17. 
I am excited to assume the position of National Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) President for 2018. This is the same position my father John held in 1999. Much is the same, but a great deal has changed since then. LICA is growing rapidly, largely through the benefits secured by Jerry Biuso, our CEO, and our close ties to government agencies through John Peterson, our director of government relations. Here’s a look at a few of the projects happening at the moment. Memorandum of Understanding with NRCSMany years ago, we had a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It has since expired and the executive committee would like to create a new MOU representing LICA and NRCS today. We have established a steering committee to work on a rewrite. The relationship between our two organizations has been very productive since we have similar goals.The History of Farm DrainageLICA has embarked on a comprehensive project to publish “The History of Farm Drainage.” America feeds the world and the development of farm drainage systems has been vital to that effort. LICA believes it is important to have a recorded history of the drainage industry in which many of our members work.Bob Clark, president of Clark Farm Drainage, Inc. and past-president of LICA, is serving as the project chairman, with a goal of collecting relevant information from every aspect of the industry, reviewing and co-ordinating that data, and publishing the results in a leather-bound book which will be available through LICA.We are reaching out to anyone involved in the drainage industry – researchers, producers, contractors, manufacturers, educators – and asking them to provide any history they may have relating to the drainage industry in America, as well as where they see the industry heading tomorrow.All editorial submission should include the follow four items: Date: The publication will follow a time line. What: Describe the action, product or service. Impact: Describe the positive impact it had on the industry. Source: Identify the source. Please submit all editorial to the designated email:
Timmins, ON farmers are now growing more produce than ever before because of a new funding program that makes their land easier to farm.
If someone told you there was a tried-and-true product available that would consistently increase your crop yields by 29 to 36 per cent, you would probably pay attention. These are the estimated yield benefits for systematic tile drainage in Ontario.
Is it worth spending $1,000 per acre on tile drainage to get a $40 boost in crop production?
Ontario is the only Canadian province that has a licensing program for drainage contractors. By far the most agricultural tile is installed in Ontario, and the program ensures Ontario contractors are highly skilled.
Most growers on farmland northeast of Winnipeg, Man., expect to lose about 20 percent of their acres in a typical wet year, which can happen six years in a row.
I speak for everyone at the Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) when I wish the industry a happy and successful end to their spring work season. As a drainage contractor myself for nearly 30 years, I know all too well that spring can be a challenging time for anyone in the construction field.
Here in southern Ontario, where Drainage Contractor is based, crop harvest will be complete by the time this issue arrives in your mailbox, and area producers – and drainage contractors – will be reminiscing about what was one of the driest summers on record.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections can be stressful for contractors and are usually conducted without advance notice.
Britain’s looming exit from the European Union may create opportunities to elevate drainage’s profile in the country’s agricultural policies.
Sept. 12, 2016 - For the first time ever, leading food and agriculture supply chain companies and conservation organizations have formed an “end-to-end” partnership to support farmers in the improvement of soil health and water quality. The collective, announced recently at the launch of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (the Collaborative) — a broad-based effort to support, enhance, and accelerate the use of environmentally preferable agricultural practices already underway in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. As part of this effort, the Collaborative has committed to raising $4 million over five years to help accelerate the Soil Health Partnership, a farmer-led initiative of the National Corn Growers Association. With 65 farm sites already a part of the effort, the Soil Health Partnership’s goal is to enroll 100 farms for field-scale testing and measuring management practices that improve soil health. Such practices include growing cover crops, implementing conservation tillage like no-till or strip-till, and using adaptive, innovative, and science-based nutrient management techniques. The Soil Health Partnership’s research is quantifying the economic benefits of these practices, equipping farmers and agronomists with information on how healthy soil benefits both their bottom line and our natural resources. The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative’s founding members include Cargill, Environmental Defense Fund, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Monsanto, PepsiCo, The Nature Conservancy, Walmart, and World Wildlife Fund. “As an agricultural and food company, Cargill sees the MRCC as a way to support and accelerate the adoption of existing conservation programs set up by farmers and work with customers and organizations that share sustainability goals with the ag community,” says David MacLennan, chairman and CEO of Cargill. “This collaboration between environmental organizations and some of the world’s largest agriculture-based companies should lead to significantly ramped-up water conservation in the Midwest,” says Mark R. Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “TNC is eager to use our science and expertise to accelerate solutions that match the scale of the challenges we face in that region, such as improving water quality across the Midwest and addressing the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.” The Collaborative plans to initially focus on optimizing soil health practices outcomes, reducing nutrient losses — chiefly nitrogen and phosphorus — into the rivers and streams of the Mississippi River Basin, maximizing water conservation to reduce pressure on the Ogallala Aquifer, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Most importantly, the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative is committed to working with others — farmer organizations, environmental groups, and state and local watershed partnerships — to achieve the goals outlined in the Gulf Hypoxia Taskforce action plan and respective state nutrient and water loss reduction plans. Those common goals include: By 2025, 75 percent of row crop acres in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska are engaged in the sustainability measures that will result in optimizing field to market Fieldprint analyses and soil health practices outcomes. By 2025, reduce nitrogen loading from Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska by 20 percent as a milestone to meet agreed upon Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force goal of 45 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus loading. By 2025, 50 percent of all irrigation units used in Nebraska will maximize water conservation to reduce pressure on the Ogallala Aquifer. By 2035, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska have met the 45 percent nutrient loss reduction goal, and partnerships and goals are established to expand the Collaborative across the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The Collaborative will employ four strategies to improve positive environmental and social outcomes in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. These strategies are: Building the business case: build data and engage farmers via the Soil Health Partnership; Sustainable Agriculture Resource Center: provide training and technical support for ag retailers and crop advisors to help scale conservation practices such as fertilizer optimization and cover crop adoption; Policy engagement: plan for and understand drivers and incentives for in-field, edge-of-field, and landscape conservation practices; and, Communications: catalyze change in the region and help consumers understand these efforts by highlighting the innovation of farmers making measurable progress. The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative has partnered with the Keystone Policy Center to facilitate its work.
American Augers/Trencor, a Charles Machine Works company, has released a large-scale upgrade to its 1400-series trencher line. The T14-54/617 trencher features a Tier 4 Final emissions compliant engine, electronics and customer-requested features.
Eagle Trenchers has released the Eagle 9700, featuring a Cat Tier 4 diesel engine (275 horsepower), all hydraulic drives with intellimatics, optional Trimble GPS automatic steering and grade control, nine-foot digging depth by a 26- or 30-inch width cut. Other features include a pipe feed crumb shoe with optional gravel hopper and a pipe fairled system. Approximate weight is 67,000 pounds. Built in California since 1988, Eagles offers 10 models for pipeline, utility, irrigation, drainage, foundation and canal construction. 
Sentera LLC, a Minneapolis-based supplier of remote sensing and drone technology to the agriculture industry, has added elevation maps to its FieldAgent software platform.
Farmers looking for a method to help reduce nitrate flow from specific fields may want to consider constructing a woodchip bioreactor. The woodchip bioreactors acts as a filter to clean the water as it flows from the tile into the surface water body. The cost is often what is on a producer's mind.
A new drainage system on the edge of Mapleton is described by one expert as the poster child for how new systems should and will have to be designed and built.
In the drainage business, the term "best performance" no longer means moving the greatest volume of dirt. Just the opposite, in fact. In today's world, "best performance" means moving the least amount of dirt to move the greatest volume of water. Moving dirt costs money. The object is to obtain drainage goals without moving extra soil.
When Henry County farmer Todd Verheecke decided to start using cover crops five years ago, his motivation was both economic and environmental.
Bluewater Pipe Inc.has recently announced their latest charitable campaign – and this one is a little different. 
Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) has developed the Agricultural Drainage App, a new mobile application for planning agricultural drainage systems, offering automatic calculations for both the proper quantity and type of pipe needed to achieve the drainage required. Free to download, it is now available from the App Store and on Google Play.
A look at some of the newest products this season
DEC.19, 2016—Trimble announced that it has launched a world-first, patent-pending VerticalPoint RTK system for grade control in agriculture. The VerticalPoint RTK system is designed to provide significantly enhanced vertical accuracy and stability of standard single-baseline RTK systems reducing the downtime and costly delays experienced by many agriculture land improvement contractors today. When vertical accuracy inconsistencies occur, agriculture contractors must wait to re-start leveling until the vertical signal is once again accurate, and in some instances even rework portions of the field that were incorrectly leveled before the vertical signal inconsistency was discovered. VerticalPoint RTK significantly reduces vertical design errors in leveling and land forming projects, which occur from inconsistent vertical GPS signals resulting from atmospheric interference. With VerticalPoint RTK, contractors can experience an approximate 25 per cent increase in overall uptime. Currently the industry experiences about 75 per cent uptime; however, with VerticalPoint RTK uptime can increase to approximately 95 per cent. This increase in uptime occurs even in the most challenging environments and at any time of year.  “On average during the summer months we may see five to six hours a day where we don’t have the level of vertical GPS accuracy that we need to complete finish passes,” said Jarrett Lawfield, owner of Lawfield Land Grading, a custom land leveling business. “The vertical accuracy capabilities of VerticalPoint RTK allows the whole project—from bulk hauling to finish passes—to be more efficient. The more accurate bulk hauling is, the less work to be done while finishing.”  To learn more about the VerticalPoint RTK system, visit: trimble.com/agriculture/verticalpoint-rtk
The Hydroluis drainage pipe system, manufactured in Istanbul, Turkey, is the first anti-root drainage pipe. It is anti-bacterial with sensitive filtration. The pipe saves underground water in drought seasons, and works only when the water table rises above specified levels. The system eliminates the requirement for annual maintenance or internal cleaning, according to a company press release. The pipe shows long-term operating performance and is usable in shallow impermeable grounds. For more information, visit www.hydroluis.com. 

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