Industry News
April 15, 2013, Scotland – A Forth monitor farm meeting recently held in Scotland discussed the importance of good drainage, writes The Scottish Farmer. | READ MORE
April 5, 2013, California – Studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that examined the long-term sustainability of degraded water reuse have demonstrated that irrigation wastewater can be used to revive non-productive saline and sodic soils in California's San Joaquin Valley. The USDA has full details on the study. | READ MORE
April 4, 2013 – Mitko LLC has been named the mid-states dealer for RWF Bron add-on drainage plows. This new partnership will see Mitko LLC immediately offer sales, parts, and service on Bron add-on plows. Located in New Hampton, IA, Mitko LLC (formerly B and J Construction) has been involved in sales and service for the drainage industry for more than 40 years. For more information on Bron add-on plows, contact Larry Heying at Mitko, at 641-394-3141, or visit
April 2, 2013, Quebec – Soleno is investing $4 million to update one of its production lines in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC.The company says the updated production line will help consolidate existing jobs while creating new business opportunities in the future. Soleno is also transferring an existing production line in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to its factory in McAdam, NB, with a goal of increasing production capacity in the Atlantic provinces and creating new jobs and business opportunities.The facilities will be updated and transferred over the coming months.
April 1, 2013, Ohio – Baughman Tile Company, Inc., a manufacturer of corrugated polyethylene (HDPE) pipe and fittings, is celebrating its 130th year in business.
April 1, 2013, Sibley, IA – Timewell Drainage Products is expanding with the addition of a new manufacturing facility in Sibley, IA. The company says the expansion will allow Timewell’s agricultural division to better serve Northern Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. The new facility will initially manufacture three feet through 15 feet single-wall drainage tile for the agricultural market.The new plant will open this spring. “Crews are hard at work prepping the existing building for the delivery of our production equipment,” said Darren Wagner, Timewell's agriculture sales manager, in a press release.In addition to their corporate offices in Timewell, IL., the company also operates a manufacturing plant in Western Kentucky.
April 1, 2013, Iowa – Jon Christie and Megan Kauffman-Christie are the new owners of Dayton Farm Drainage, writes | READ MORE
April 1, 2013, Minnesota – The Blue Earth River is 50 percent wider along its entire length than it was seven decades ago, largely because a generation of artificial drainage on the surrounding landscape has doubled the flow of water coursing between its soft banks, writes the StarTribune. | READ MORE
March 25, 2013, Guelph, Ont. – Ross Weston Irwin of Guelph, Ont., passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 17, in his 92nd year. He was a loving father to his children John and Carol Anne and was the proud grandpa of Trevor, Tim, Troy, Robbin and Christine. Ross is survived by his wife Doreen (Webster) and his brother Lorne of Peterborough and is predeceased by his parents James and Myrtle (Wakelin) of Oakwood.Ross was born at Cambray, Victoria County on Sept. 11, 1921. He joined the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and served for 45 months in Italy and Northwest Europe. Following discharge, he briefly worked for the Canadian General Electric Co. in Peterborough, and then attended the Ontario Agricultural College. After graduation, he was employed by the College in land drainage planning. He attended Iowa State College, and then researched and taught soil mechanics and land drainage at the University of Guelph for 35 years. His hobbies were many. An amateur historian, like his grandfather, he wrote many historical books and articles. He collected war medals and memorabilia, postage stamps and coins. He was president of the Guelph Historical Society for five years, president of the Guelph-Wellington Men’s Club, and an original planner of Trinity United Church.A celebration of Ross's life will be held April 28 at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Church in Guelph.
March 26, 2013, Guelph, Ont. – The Guelph Mercury remembers Ross Irwin as a man of history who had a passion for curiosity and learning. | READ MORE
November 27, 2012, Texas – In an effort to better service our growing clientele, GeoShack North America, Inc. is moving our retail store from Exeter to London, Ontario at 1930 Mallard Road effective August 7, 2012. The telephone and fax numbers will remain the same as will the high level of customer service we have delivered over the 30 years we have been based in the Exeter area.GeoShack is the Topcon Master Dealer in Ontario and Quebec for their full line of construction lasers, total stations, GPS, machine control and survey instruments. We are committed to providing the highest level of customer satisfaction to make the most of your investment in GeoShack and TopconPlease drop in and see how Geoshack is investing to better meet your needs at;1930 Mallard RoadLondon, ON N6H 5M1(519) 235-0240(519) 235-0744 – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
LICA National Winter Convention a successThis year’s LICA National Winter Convention was held in San Diego, California, and according to organizers, it was a complete success. The weather in San Diego was perfect for the event and LICA members were able to sightsee around the town on their own.  The pre-tours were extremely popular and fun was had by all. Members were amazed and informed while touring the USS Midway, a ship that has completed almost 50 years of service and seen combat in Vietnam and the first Persian Gulf War.  At the San Diego Zoo, people could see all the animals by foot, bus or even air! The Skyfari aerial tram was definitely a new way to see a zoo and there were more than 4,000 rare and endangered species at this zoo for all to see. For the third year in a row, LICA members were able to test their racing skills at the Miramar Speed Circuit. The track featured three hairpin turns, two straight-aways and a longer course that put the participants through their paces. The competition was fierce. Chris Smidler of Indiana finished in first place, Bob Clark of Indiana in second place, and Tony den Hoed from Volvo in third place. The inaugural LICA golf outing was touched with perfect weather and took place at the nearby Riverwalk Golf Club. The awards included longest putt, won by Chris Wagner, longest drive, won by Mark Morriem, shortest drive, won by Bruce Mosier, and closest to the pin, won by Steve Miller. In first place among foursomes were John Weatherhead, Buddy Goodman, Bob Clark and Tony den Hoed. Second place went to Chris Wagner, John Rothberg, Shelly Hewson and Joe Giovinazzo. Third place went to Steve Miller, Mark Morriem and Fran Miller. The profits raised from this event were given to the LICA Scholarship Fund. All of the educational seminars were well received; members learned about national LICA benefits, fleet safety and security, 10 critical business insurance mistakes to avoid, and negligent entrustment and non-owned auto exposures from some very well-spoken and respected speakers.  The committee meetings and executive meetings were very productive and everyone shared their important thoughts and ideas.  At the Hawaiian-themed Associates’ Night there were more than 20 exhibitors and people packed the room in leis and grass skirts! Make sure you check out for the pictures.Before everyone said goodbye they attended the Caterpillar Awards Dinner, where Brad McArdle was presented with the 2011 Contractor of the year award. Harry Hauschild won the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Minnesota Chapter of LICA won the 2011 Top State award, which Nordis Estrem and Kevin Bakken, Mark Morriem and Don Loken accepted. Veronica Seevers won the 2011 Contractor’s Wife of the Year award. The Ohio Chapter 2011 Kemps Award went to Louis McFarland and the 2011 Handor Award went to Wayne Litwiller. After the awards and dinner, the group was entertained by comedian Brad Upton, who had members laughing from beginning to end.  It was an incredible convention that will not soon be forgotten!  Study: Can crop residues clean up drained water?The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), an organization committed to providing scientific and technical assistance to Minnesota industries and entrepreneurs, is conducting a 15-month study testing the ability of crop residues to clean up water drained from agricultural lands.AURI’s study is focused on bioreactors, also known as biofilters, which have historically been made from wood chips or straw. The high cost of these products encouraged AURI to research other available materials producers could use. AURI is evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of agricultural residues versus wood in bioreactors, offering a potential use for agricultural byproducts such as corn stover, and wheat and barley straw. These fibers could also increase bioreactor efficiency, improve drainage water quality and potentially increase the number of acres that a single reactor can treat. Bioreactors can reduce nitrate concentration in drainage water by 30 to 70 percent. The project is occurring at the USDA-ARS lab in St. Paul, Minn., the results will determine which products have the potential to warrant in-field testing.Réal Laflamme joins Soleno board of directorsSoleno welcomes the appointment of Réal Laflamme, a veritable legend of the agricultural field in Quebec, to its board of directors.Born in Sainte-Rosalie, Laflamme comes from a long line of farmers. Early in his life, he was fascinated by agriculture and demonstrated his talent for managing a company. In 1968, he bought his father’s 32-hectare farm, which included 17 dairy cows. Today, the family business, called “La Ferme Roflamme,” cultivates 1,000 hectares and has a herd of 90 dairy cows.In 1981, at age 34, Laflamme became one of the youngest recipients of the Gold Medal of Agricultural Merit. In 1992, along with other shareholders, he bought a poultry farm in limited partnership. As a result of the success of this formula, several other acquisitions of the same type were made. In 2001, he was the first recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Agriculture Sector, with La Presse, TVA and Global as national sponsors.A great visionary, Laflamme has been involved in numerous other endeavors and many other accomplishments throughout his career, mainly related to agriculture. He is considered a role model in the business world and a very successful farmer. We are very pleased to count on the expertise of such an exemplary man.Mark Baker receives Technical Service Provider CertificationMark Baker has recently become a Registered Technical Service Provider with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is able to provide Drainage Water Management Plans. With his certification, Baker will become one of 52 Technical Service Providers in the United States.Baker is a veteran of the drainage industry with over 30 years’ experience and a tremendous reputation for customer service and business excellence. Completing the Technical Service Provider training has been an official step for him to assist producers in using conservation practices on their land by developing Drainage Water Management Plans.A Technical Service Provider can determine the best way to implement a Drainage Water Management Plan by reviewing field boundaries, soil types, tile maps, and topographic maps of a field area. Springfield Plastics, Inc. is proud to have Baker as a Technical Service Provider within its business to assist producers.  The USDA and NRCS are building the amount of certified professionals in private businesses, non-profit organizations and public agencies that are able to provide technical service for such conservation practices as drainage water management because the public’s interest and the government’s funding of conservation are increasing. The USDA needs qualified individuals to help with implementing conservation practices and assisting producers in developing plans for such practices.
Summer means different things to different people but for drainage contractors, it is a call for two things: get the equipment ready for the busy fall season, but before that, head to the fields for a nearby field day. For a group of Iowa contractors, that field day took place July 27 at the Midwest Construction Expo and Field Day, near Melbourne. “We have a lot of success stories we can share when it comes to conservation and water quality in Iowa,” said Chuck Gipp, the new deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Many of the success stories to which he referred include waterways and tiling, as well as terraces, and all were showcased at the 80-acre field day site. The day’s events were sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors’ Association. Gaining support from cities and stateMore than just contractors and farmers were attracted to the field day. Since Melbourne is so close to Des Moines, the event provided an excellent opportunity to showcase best management practices to both urbanites and state lawmakers. “This field day shows how farmers and contractors are true conservationists who are making great strides as they integrate new technology to save Iowa’s soil and protect water quality,” said state representative Annette Sweeney. Among some of the displays visited by attendees were a rain garden constructed by LICA members and grass waterways, which can help manage rainwater flow from farmers’ fields and reduce or prevent erosion. The site was also the place for the unveiling of a new tool for contractors. Known as Nancy’s Blanket, the design consists of two sheets of biodegradable plastic mesh with straw sandwiched between. The blanket can cover a newly installed and seeded waterway, to give the construct a good start and minimize erosion. “Often the seed is washed away by the first rain that falls after the waterway is built, and the wind can blow away the straw mulch that some contractors spread over the new waterway,” explained Scott Hamman, whose family created Nancy’s Blankets. The concept has been in use in Ohio since 2005, and it is now being distributed in Iowa by Plunkett Farms from Maxwell. “The field day is a great opportunity to learn about the newest ways to help preserve our soil and natural resources,” said Keith Rohwer, who manages Dry Run Farm Drainage, and also grows corn, soybeans and raises hogs and horses near Paullina.Additional researchOne other facet that was covered at the field day dealt with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetland on the site, something that contractors built in 2009. The CREP initiative has been developed – with the help of both state and federal governments – in an effort reduce the nitrate levels in water coming from tile drains on farmland. Research from Iowa State University has confirmed that CREP wetlands are capable of removing 40 to 90 percent of nitrates from tile drainage water. The research indicates more than 90 percent of herbicides are also removed. At the time of the field day in July 2011, the state of Iowa had about 80 CREP wetlands.In addition to wetlands, other conservation measures, including grass waterways, filter strips and reduced tillage, can make a significant difference. Individuals such as Chuck Gipp see these efforts as a huge step, and believe voluntary moves, not regulated ones, are the better way.
In response to the 2011 growing season’s overwhelming demand for agricultural drainage products, Willmar, Minnesota-based Prinsco Inc. has announced its plans to open a new manufacturing plant in the Fargo-Moorehead area of Minnesota. The company plans to have the plant operational in January 2012, with two production lines and plans for a third by the end of that year. These additions, along with upgrades at other facilities, mean a vast increase in single-wall tile production.All signs point to an increase in demand, according to company representatives. “2011 is shaping up to be a remarkable year, coming right on the heels of 2010’s record-breaking season. I could not have predicted this kind of sustained growth,” says Kent Rodelius, sales manager for Prinsco Agriculture. “Prinsco has done everything possible to expand our infrastructure and make the investments needed to meet this additional demand as quickly as possible.”The Fargo-Moorehead plant is Prinsco’s second new manufacturing facility in 12 months. In February of 2011, they started operations at their new Beresford, South Dakota, plant, which is also slated to add a third production line by October of this year. Prinsco has completed key upgrades that will improve efficiency at all of its Midwestern plants. “There are always growing pains when you expand quickly, but we are committed to meeting the needs of our loyal customers. As they embrace the benefits of strategic water management, we want to continue being their provider of choice. For that reason, our approach to growth has been cautious and strategic, yet aggressive,” adds Jeremy Duininck, Prinsco’s vice president of operations. “Our investments are focused, not only on facilities and equipment, but on the staff support needed for quality control, safety and efficiency. We need to grow without sacrificing the high standards and values that are important to us.”“This is an exciting time,” comments Jamie Duininck, Prinsco’s vice president of sales. “As we’ve been expanding our facilities, we’ve also been expanding our product line. Most recently we introduced Ecoflo 100, an industry first. It’s a recycled, dual-wall pipe with an unprecedented 100-year service life. It’s a green-friendly product that will help farmers increase the performance of their critical drainage mains, and also help engineers and contractors feel comfortable using eco-friendly pipe in the commercial storm water and detention projects. We’re really growing right now, in more ways than one.”
It may have taken place in 2010, but the grand opening of a tile manufacturing plant was a newsworthy event because it served to bring together 17 companies for an open house and tiling demonstration. Hancor/Advanced Drainage Systems opened its plant near the town of Heidelberg, northwest of Kitchener, Ontario, with a tiling demonstration and field day down the road at the farm of Oscar Wideman. Among those exhibitinag on site were the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario, A&E Farm Drainage, Wolfe Equipment, Agri Drain Corp., Advanced Geo Positioning Solutions and Geo Shack Canada. Contractors from across Ontario attended the event, with some commenting that it was the first such gathering in at least 10 years, maybe longer.

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