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Michigan researcher receives additional $1.2M for water quality research

September 25, 2023  By Bree Rody

Michigan State University AgBioResearch scientist Ehsan Ghane is devoted to exploring practices that will help improve drainage practices for farmers and therefore improve agriculture and water quality overall. His research, which has appeared in numerous Drainage Contractor print editions, online articles, webinars and more, focuses on agricultural water quality, drainage system performance and how differing factors impact water quality.

Ghane and his research team received a $1.2M grant this august from MDARD to continue with a research project to investigate the effectiveness of conservation drainage practices; specifically, it looks at controlled drainage and saturated buffers and their impacts on phosphorus.

“There is good understanding and best management practices around addressing the movement of surface runoff from farmland, but this is not so true for water moving through tile lines,” said MDARD Environmental Stewardship Division director James Johnson in a statement. “The important research being done by Ehsan Ghane and his team at MSU is helping us to better understand tile-line movement of nutrients in water. This will allow for the development of a best management plan that advocates for drainage control structures, as well as a management system for controlling the release of water from those structures.”

The information gleaned from the study will develop farmer education to better control nutrient and water releases in the short term.


The grant will go toward continued data collection through three partner farms in the River Raisin Watershed area.

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