Contractor at Work
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.
Since the mid-1970s, the province of Ontario has had a plow testing and certification program and is currently updating the program. With the significant increase in plow-installed subsurface drainage over the last several years in both the U.S. and Canada, it seems that it is time that a drainage plow testing and certification program be considered for development in the United States. Corrugated plastic (HDPE) subsurface drain tubing installed with plow-type equipment has increased dramatically since the early 1970s, in both Canada and the United States. All of the early drainage plows were equipped with laser-based automatic depth and grade-control systems. Older systems have now been upgraded on many plows, and some trenchers, with the modern satellite-based 3-D GPS depth and grade-control system.
I had the great fortune to study journalism with some of the best in the business. Although I walked away from j-school with a bunch of practical skills, I often think that the bite-sized pieces of fortune cookie wisdom my professors passed along were the most valuable lessons I learned during my studies. Some of my favorites – “There’s a reason you have two ears but only one mouth” and “The only stupid question is the one you never ask” – by no means apply exclusively to journalism. They have, however, had tremendous influence in how I view my role as your new editor of Drainage Contractor.
The last time I wrote a column for Drainage Contractor, I thought the weather was so unusual and such a talking point that I could not write about anything else. Yet again, this thought occurs to me: we have had record rainfall levels here in the U.K., and I have read about the chilling weather inflicted on those in North America. However, as this would soon become the dullest part of the magazine if I just gave a weather report, I will resist the temptation. Regardless of what is causing the changes, I doubt many in Britain would disagree that something strange is going on. Every couple of months the headlines report weather records being broken or set. This might be a blip or a pattern, but the weather is headline news like never before, and many believe climate change is the cause. I believe that drainage contractors should greet it as an opportunity.
Across Canada, there are considerable challenges in managing our surface water quality. One factor that can greatly affect this is agricultural nutrient runoff, and among those areas where this is a major concern are Lake Erie and Lake Simcoe, in Ontario. Nutrient runoff is also an increasing concern in areas of intensive agriculture across Prince Edward Island, a province in which 100 per cent of drinking water comes from groundwater wells.
The fire service is often said to represent years of tradition unimpeded by progress. Unfortunately, this old and rather clichéd adage applies to many industries, and when I became the editor of Drainage Contractor in early 2013, I wondered if the same saying would ring true for ours.
June 13, 2013 – Drainage Contractor magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013, and to celebrate, we're taking a look back at what made the headlines 40 years ago with Forty-year flashback, a series of articles from the magazine's first few editions.
For many farmers, there’s no question what lowering the water table on land with drainage issues can do to improve crop yield. The challenge is finding a contractor with the experience and access to specialized tools to implement a successful subsurface drainage project to help improve the land’s productivity. For Frank Slemmons, this meant purchasing his own equipment to do it himself.
Drainage licensing in Manitoba: Policy or politics?Landowners across the Canadian province say they’re facing a situation…
Toledo passes Lake Erie Bill of Rights, farmers face litigationIn a special election at the end of February, the…
$20 million in aid to farmers to reduce fertilizer runoff announced in OhioThe state announced programs to help northwest Ohio farmers plant…
Saskatchewan offers $5 million for farm water management supportThe provincial government of Saskatchewan will invest $5 million in…
Drainage Task Force Annual Meeting
June 5-6, 2019
LICA National Summer Meeting
July 8-13, 2019
Nutrient Removal and Recovery Symposium
July 23-25, 2019