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New resource examines best practices in cropland drainage


October 7, 2014
By Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Oct. 6, 2014, Guelph, ON – Managing on-farm drainage to maximize crop production and minimize environmental impact is covered in one of the latest publications in the Best Management Practices (BMP) series.

The BMP books are developed through collaboration between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. For more than 25 years, these groups have worked together to produce the Best Management Practices resources, delivering useful information on environmentally sustainable farm practices. The newest addition to the series, Cropland Drainage, provides a valuable resource for planning and maintaining effective surface and subsurface drainage systems.

“Water is an essential, shared resource and agricultural crop production is one of its many users,” said Don Lobb, environmental advocate for Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario. “This guide considers cropland drainage as part of an overall soil management system on the farm. And provides farmers with information and guidelines to manage drainage and reduce the impact of excess water, conserve top soil and improve the efficiency of crop inputs.”

Farmers using Cropland Drainage will have a better understanding of how drainage systems work, find ways to improve their existing systems and integrate drainage best practices with other cropland practices to reduce runoff and flooding. Cropland Drainage covers best practices for managing surface and subsurface (i.e. tile) drainage, principles of soil water and cropland drainage, as well as related practices for soil management.

The guide also provides a list of federal, provincial and municipal legislation that can directly affect the design, construction and maintenance of cropland drainage structures.

Cropland Drainage is also filled with colour photographs and detailed colour diagrams to clearly illustrate dos and don’ts for managing water on cropland. The easy-to-read format includes checklists and an extensive troubleshooting guide for subsurface or tile drainage.  

BMP books are available at no charge (shipping and handling charges may apply) and can be ordered online at www.publications.serviceontario.ca, by phone through the ServiceOntario Contact Centre at 1-800-668-9938 or in person at ServiceOntario Centres throughout the province.

A full list of all BMP books is available at www.publications.serviceontario.ca.