Drainage Management Systems
There are 950 acres treated by bioreactors and roughly 42,000 acres treated by wetlands across Iowa. In mid-February, Iowa Learning Farms hosted a group of 12 farmers in Ames to discuss these questions and other issues surrounding edge-of-field practices and nutrient reduction.
In parts of northeastern Saskatchewan, excess moisture and high water tables have prevented some growers from seeding certain fields in the Melfort area over the past few years. Water table levels have been monitored in the area since an observation well was installed in 1967, with the highest levels ever recorded in 2014.
There's no doubt tile drainage can boost productivity and profitability. Just don't assume it should look just like the neighbour's system.
As with most things, consulting a professional is probably the best first move.
Management of excess water on agricultural lands, to reduce or prevent detrimental impacts, may be the most serious production problem facing agriculture in the cool, humid region of the United States.
This is the third paper published on the analysis of drain depth and grade data recorded during a field installation of corrugated plastic drain tubing. A 2050 GP model inter-drain double-link drainage plow was equipped with a Trimble RTK-GPS system to automatically control drain depth and grade and steer the drain plow along the drain line path for each subsurface drain planned for the field.
When nitrogen escapes from fields and buffer strips into watershed systems, it’s costly for everyone. New research suggests the installation of saturated buffer strips could offer a viable solution with economic merit for preventing these nitrogen losses.
Few things can make or break a cropping season like flood and drought. These two water-related events are at the core of many drainage and irrigation decisions.
Tile lines in the riverbed of Lake Agassiz may help keep salts in water tables from affecting cropland.
In a recent study, Laura Christianson, assistant professor of water quality in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, and several colleagues looked at whether they could remove phosphorus in woodchip bioreactors by adding a special "P-filter" designed to trap the fertilizer-derived pollutant. The team tested two types of industrial waste products in the P-filters: acid mine drainage treatment residual (MDR) and steel slag. 
We see the impact of phosphorus and nitrogen losses to waterways every summer in bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie. Although other environmental elements and human inputs are factors, the runoff from farmers’ fields has always been viewed as the primary culprit.
A multidisciplinary team of scientists led by Antonio Mallarino, professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, has completed two years of a long-term field study to better understand the impacts of cover crops on nutrient loss with surface runoff.
At last fall’s International Drainage Symposium in Minneapolis, scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) presented a study on soil fertility, water quality and its relationship with tile depth and spacing.
A year after a plan to tackle residual phosphorus loss from farmland into the Thames River was developed, the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative (TRPRC) is being put into action in Ontario. This is thanks to a grant from the Agricultural Adaptation Council through federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward 2 funding programs, with matching contributions from participating organizations.
Since 2011, the majority of corn producers in Illinois have followed the recommended maximum return to nitrogen (MRN) application guidelines. More than half of all farmers are either knowledgeable or very knowledgeable about the “4R” strategy (right nutrient source at the right rate, in the right place and at the right time).
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