Drainage Contractor

News Drainage Management Systems
New tool can create better tile placement decisions


December 22, 2020


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The issue of tile drainage spacing – knowing what kind of distances between tile is optimal for return on investment – has piqued the curiosity of contractors for years.

Now, the South Dakota USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has created a new tool that will allow contractors and farmers the ability to make better decisions in placing drainage tile.

The Agriculture Drainage Decision Tool operates in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. It uses the program’s analytics tools to determine what kind of profitability the installation of pattern tile will provide for a farmer. It will calculate both pre- and post-drainage net profitability based on a number of factors. The NRCS states that it is intended to provide general representation of the economics associated with installation, and is not meant as a final economic analysis. However, the NRCS does hope that it will be used as a “conversation-starter.”

The NRCS is currently offering no-cost evaluations to determine which practices will work best depending on each individual’s operation. The tool can be found through the USDA’s electronic Field Office Technical Guide.

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Currently, in various parts of North America, manufacturers are working to better understand how tile spacing translates to short- and long-term ROI.