Industry News
There’s a conversation happening within – and about – the drainage community right now, and it’s not necessarily a positive one.
Miles of green, mucky and potentially toxic algae blooms on western Lake Erie — and the oxygen-deprived dead zones in the Great Lake that come with them — have led Ohio to spend more than $3 billion to combat them since 2011. Michigan has chipped in millions of dollars of its own, seeking to dramatically cut a major source of fuel for the algae blooms: fertilizers that run off farmers' fields into tributaries and on to the Great Lake.
A study at Michigan State University, led by Ehsan Ghane, is investigating the effectiveness of controlled drainage in Lenawee County at two on-farm sites with varying soil types. This research will determine the effectiveness of this practice in reducing nutrient load from the field. | READ MORE
Buffer strips are the top water-quality improvement strategy in the South Fork Crow River watershed, according to new draft reports released by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The agency and local partners are seeking public comments through May 16, 2018, about the buffer strip implementation efforts and other protection and restoration strategies. | READ MORE
Tile drainage may be the best solution to managing saturated soils, but the cost is prohibitive for many producers. However, a low-cost mechanical mole boring temporary tunnels may serve the same purpose. | READ MORE
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on April 18 explaining the latest research, installation standards and best-management practices for the use of saturated buffers in farm fields. | READ MORE
It's that time of year when algal blooms thrive in Lake Erie, and experts are figuring out how to tackle all the challenges that go along with improving the water. | READ MORE
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center began accepting proposals this week from scientists to address water-quality issues related to nutrient loss from farm fields and land use practices. The center, established in 2013, selects promising proposals every year and provides funding to get them underway. | READ MORE
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets held a public hearing on March 30 to receive feedback on a new set of tile drainage rules currently being drafted by the state agency to try to mitigate runoff. | READ MORE
For many farmers, it was easy to spend money on drainage tile five years ago when profits were rolling in. What about now? As Farm Futures reports, investing in tile may be an even smarter expense these days, as long as it's being installed where it’s needed — and especially with weather extremes playing havoc on spring planting. | READ MORE
The Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) has responded to the Minnesota Star Tribune columnist who claimed that unregulated drainage is putting the state's wetlands at risk. Warren Formo, executive director of MAWRC, submitted a response to the column on March 26, noting that the state is one of few that have wetland regulations at the state level, and "only after it is determined that there are no wetland impacts, or any unavoidable wetland impacts are being mitigated through the creation of replacement wetlands, is the [drainage] project allowed to proceed." 
Pattern tiling – the practice of laying drain tile in positions designed to move water as quickly as possible – is a common, yet unregulated, process in Minnesota, and in the opinion of some, it is hurting the states natural resources. | READ MORE
March 22 is World Water Day. Designated by the United Nations, the day is about focusing attention on the importance of water in our daily lives and on a global scale. 
When an Indiana farmer let rye grow longer than usual in some fields so he could bale it for straw before planting corn, he found dead roots were plugging the tile. Though fixing the tile isn't fun, he says it's not enough of a problem to scare him away. | READ MORE
Ontario is helping Thunder Bay area farmers improve their agricultural land, diversify crops and expand their businesses.

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