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Controlled Drainage Management in the Field

January 12, 2012
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Farm Journal Machinery Editor and Test Plot Director
 
 

In episode 9 of Corn College TV Season 2, Missy Bauer describes the concept of controlled drainage management.

“Tile drainage is a tool to help us manage water,” she says. “And during the season there are time we don’t want all of the water to come out of the tile and lower the water table. Drainage water management is installed as water control structure.”
In an example, Bauer shows how gates can be used to set the water control at different levels.
“The idea is to operate this as normal tile—water comes in and flows through the outlet. Then as you get the crop in, set the gates in the structure to back up the water. Then toward fall, get rid of water and take gates out so water flows through. It’s seasonal management,” she says.
Bauer cites a study that says these systems can reduce nitrates coming out of the tile up to 35% for both agronomic and environmental improvements.
Learn more in this episode of Corn College TV.
 

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