Site visit 4. During the … There’s no one who goes to a soil crop meeting who isn’t already intensively draining, and who doesn’t understand that drainage is the best payback they can make on their land. drainage laterals are installed on the contour, the practice could be used with greater slopes. You need to calculate the cost of putting in a main line and other costs, too. There is pretty high interest among farmers in seeing how the results turn out.”, Your email address will not be published. I don’t need it to pay me back immediately for me to think that it’s worth doing.”, “We saw about $25-$30/acre better return on that field, or about a three percent return on investment in one year. “It is recommended that various field studies – under a wide range of soils, crops and climatological conditions – be conducted to determine the effect of tile drain depth and spacing on nutrient losses and crop production from agricultural drained lands,” he says. Consult soils report when assessing lands for improved drainage 3. In addition to yield return, Dietrich sees tight drainage offering less quantifiable benefit. At last fall’s International Drainage Symposium in Minneapolis, scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) presented a study on soil fertility, water quality and its relationship with tile depth and spacing. In the RFD system, it was also evident that decreasing tile drain depth reduced dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and total phosphorus (TP) losses. But, we’re dealing with farmers who believe in and are skilled at using data to manage their farms.”. Tighter-spaced tiles can get excess water out more quickly during high-rainfall events, allowing plants to get growing again more quickly. “The design of the tile drainage is to remove excess surface water as quickly as possible when there is excess rainfall over and above the storage capacity of soils during early spring, late autumn and winter,” Tan says. Some of these drains are vented through the front of the retaining wall, while others may run the length of the wall and drain out to the sides. In the 1990s, GPS and yield monitors allowed farmers to see yield improvements over the tiles, which began a push towards closer and closer spacing. Required fields are marked *. Dietrich intends to install similar spaced tile into two additional fields this coming season. “We farm in a highly productive area. Subsurface tile drains provide a direct flowpath for nitrate … “Research on drainage design optimization, like space and depth fine-tuning, is [challenging] and very costly in general because of expensive monitoring and analyses of water quality parameters.”. Narrower spacing: How tight is too tight for tile drainage spacing? “Under the RFD system, tile drain depth affected tile drain water discharge and nitrate and phosphorus losses more than tile drain spacing,” Tan says. The system consists of a trench that is sloped away from the house, gravel and pipe. Tight drainage tile doubles your cost but it’s a 20 plus year investment.”. But, are the acres tile drained at a spacing that allows maximum crop productivity? Drainage tiles are vented interlocking tiles that allow water to freely flow through the floor to a drain. Tile SpacingHomeDrainage PlanningTile Spacing. The study found that for RFD systems, an increase in tile spacing from 4.2 meters to 7.5 meters increased total combined surface and sub-surface drain water discharges by 10 percent but reduced total nitrate loss by 28 percent. For the CDS system, an increase in tile spacing from 4.2 to 7.5 meters increased the total combined surface and sub-surface drain water discharge by 20 percent but reduced total nitrate loss by 109 percent. For decades, farmers in southwestern Ontario have depended on tile drainage, at first draining depressions and valleys, then in the 1950s and ‘60s using patterned four-rod spacing. “I’m all about return on investment and sustainability going forward for the next generation. According to Zhang, a direct correlation between decreased tile drainage volume and decreased tile depth was also observed in eastern Illinois fields under corn and soybean rotation. One year in, Dietrich is pleased with yield results from his field where tightly-spaced drainage was installed last spring. That question is what several of Middlesex County’s farmers, together with pipe manufacturer Tony Kime of Bluewater Pipe, are keen to answer. “If you agree with the assumption that waterlogged soil stunts growth for a short amount of time, then de-waterlogging the main root area as fast as possible means you’re giving plants hours more [in] growing time. Good am to see plugged tiles/main capacity issues. “In addition, we have also found that CDS enhanced reduction of soil phosphorus loss, if combined with cover crops.”, “In addition, we have also found that controlled drainage/sub-irrigation (CDS) enhanced reduction of soil phosphorus loss, if combined with cover crops.”. Chin Tan, a water management research scientist with AAFC, and Tiequan Zhang, a soil fertility and water quality research scientist also with AAFC, designed and authored the study. What’s still not fully understood, however, is the economic return of close spacing. Narrow tile spacing has been found to increase yields due to better drought management. Hooghoudt assumed the flow to be radial upto a distance of D/√2 from the drains, where D is the thickness of soil layer below the tile drains, and converted the radial flow zones and the central D-F horizontal flow zone into a … They installed 25-foot spaced drainage into approximately 70 of those acres and 12.5-foot spaced drainage into the remaining 12 acres. Additionally, for farmers, runoff literally ends up washing away their crop nutrients. Ideally, this gutter should have had the same spacing as between each tile. How? The project offers significant optimism about the ability to minimize nitrate and phosphorus losses while managing water in intensive agricultural operations. The right methods for tile drain depth and spacing to reduce nutrient loss, Of soils and plows: soil mechanics fundamentals, Drainage management and treatment to address excess nutrient loading. What’s still not fully understood, however, is the economic return of close spacing. Instead, spacing maps can serve as additional information farmers use to try to improve field management. So, Kime presented an offer to the whole group: if anyone wanted to run a close-spacing trial, Bluewater Pipe would donate the tile. The practice can be used with any drain spacing; however, narrower drain spacing reduces the risk of yield loss due to excess … In the sub-irrigation portion of the study, the tile … The conclusion was clear. s = 0.1 inch assumption for water trapped due to surface roughness. Let us know what you think. Pipe 5 was directly over the drain. “Optimized tile spacing and depth must be determined, although it is notable that the optimums can vary, depending on the soil type and climate conditions.”, “Optimized tile spacing and depth must be determined, although it is notable that the optimums can vary, depending on the soil type and climate conditions.”. Give some of these Canadian contractors a follow to see what’s up! “Over the last couple years, I have been watching these guys doing lots of development on practices above ground – strip tillage, pushing fertilizer applications to the limit, doing everything they can to see what yield impacts they can achieve – but in all these test plots, they were never reporting on what was below ground. I'm embarrassed to say that we took the easy way … Typically you'd see a small pond running the distance of the trench with water 2-3" deep and as a couple of feet wide. No. This is a subject of drainage research. It’s also worth noting that shallow drain depth requires a closer drain spacing, which can increase drainage costs for farmers. Note that using the smallest grout possible will increase installation time. = 10 ft assumed depth from drain to impermeable layer . “Under both RFD and CDS systems, decreasing tile drain depth could be highly effective for reducing excess nitrate and phosphorus loading from agricultural fields entering the lakes under our soil and climate conditions, if drainage needs for agricultural production are satisfied,” Zhang says. DRAINAGE RECOMMENDATIONS If relief between the surface of the swells and depressions in the field to be drained is less than two ft., one of the parallel systems is often most effective, at a spacing of 60 to 120 ft. There were still concerns, however, that the 7.5-meter tile spacing was too wide for crop root zones to make use of the sub-irrigation water using this type of technology. Plastic is resistant to mold and mildew and can also be made fade resistant. Pipe Drains. That’s fairly minimal but I think there’s potential for better in future years. “Farmers see it: the highest yield is within four to five feet of the tiles.”, “Farmers see it: the highest yield is within four to five feet of the tiles.”. These guys are all researchers and businessmen: they want the best farming practices you can do.”. It’s critically important to reduce the loading of lakes and rivers with the runoff of farm nutrients, which have led to increased concerns about water quality issues. valent depth, Hooghoudt replaced his original drain spacing formula with a simpler one, which is widely used. Drain Tile Required Per Acre Springfield Plastics, Inc. 7300 West State Route 104, … 1) were located 1.5 times the spacing from the test drain. 7 / 9. Thus for a drain depth of 1 m the combination q = 7 “/day and h = 0.5 m gives practically the same drain spacing or the same intensity of the drain system as the combination q = 10 “/day and h = 0.7 m. The steady-state formulas can be used for conditions in which, as in Europe, rainfall is Follow-up monitoring of drained fields Second, as an owner-operator of farmland, I installed drain tile to allow me to plant earlier, avoid replanting and get better yields from my farm. “It gives a deeper root zone through the whole field because the water table becomes more level to the field tiles,” says Kime. For instance, for a tile drain spacing of 40 m, reducing the drain depth from 1.5 to 0.9 m reduced NO 3 -N losses by 31% (but reduced crop yield by 60%), while for a tile drain depth of 1.5 m, increasing the tile drain spacing from 27 to 40 m reduced NO 3 -N losses by 50% (while reducing crop yield by 7%). It takes more precision when making cuts, but would have saved us a big visual headache later in the process. Removal of a blockage of floating weed on the West Counter Drain. Early drainage systems were dug by hand, while today installation of drainage ditches and drainage pipe can be accomplished with laser-guided machinery. Pipes 2 and 8 on each line were at midspacings be­ tween the drains, 3 and 7 at the 0.25 spacing, and 4 and 6 at the 0.1 spacing from the test drain. You can’t expect all your money back in one year. Desaturating the soil early in the season allows soil to warm quicker, increases air in the soil, and improves microbial activity. However, the scientists say one important piece of research is missing, namely the effect of tile space and depth on pesticides and carbon movement and the losses from soil to water. By the end of 2021, Kime expects to have helped farmers install 10 new, tightly tiled (10’, 12’, or 15’ spacing) eight to 10-acre plots within larger systematically tiled fields. In the 1990s, GPS and yield monitors allowed farmers to see yield improvements over the tiles, which began a push towards closer and closer spacing. Required fields are marked *. The objective of this research was to develop an understanding of climate and drain tile spacing on maize plant population, grain moisture, grain yield, and grain quality measured from drainage only (DO, tile spacing 6.1 and 12.2 m), drainage and subirrigation (DSI, tile spacing 6.1 and 12.2 m), non-drained delayed planting … “The formula for draining your soil may say 30' is the ideal tile line spacing,” Ferrie says. To Kime, however, the discussions seemed to miss an obvious opportunity. This additional research could provide new formulas for contractors laying tile. Pipe drains, also known as toe drains, are perforated pipes that collect water along the length of the wall and drain it to the outside. Pipes 1 and 9 (not shown in Fig. “Fine-tuning the tile space and depth were necessary to maximize the performance efficiency of this new technology,” Zhang says. “Good soil drainage is essential to the proper management of wet, fertile soil to be used for agricultural production. When conditions are right to fix, it may not be so easy to spot. The vast majority of these acres are tile drained: a necessity in the heavy, compacted, slow-to-drain soil. Minimum cover greater than 2.5 ft. The study took place over a four-year period and compared two different tile drain depths and spacings for regular free drainage (RFD) and controlled drainage/sub-irrigation (CDS) systems in a corn and soybean rotation. Drainage tile can also help later in the season. The next step is to look at how drainage density can impact nutrient losses, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus, from agricultural lands. https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1187 #OntAg. Mark them when you can see them. This chart can be utilized to estimate the amount of 4” drainage tile needed based on your desired spacing. #ontag #tile20, We’re proposing changes to the Drainage Act to reduce red tape while protecting our environment. Tan adds there was also another reason to conduct the study. The idea for trialing tightly spaced drainage came to Kime as he participated in Middlesex County’s soil crop meetings. Margaret May, the regional program lead for southwestern Ontario with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), sees potential in the tightly-spaced tile concept. Tile drainage should be designed so the water table between tile lines can be lowered within 24 hours after a rain to a level that will not cause crop injury. “It is our obligation to develop new technologies that enable farmers to grow crops in a profitable, as well as environmentally sustainable, manner,” Tan says. produce the same drain spacing. the design drain spacing (L) can be found from the equation in dependence of the drain depth (Dd) and drain radius (r). Typical tile depths (W) for agricultural drainage are 3–4 feet. The 8 cm diameter tile drain, which was located on the left side of the transport domain, was assumed to be centered at a depth of 96 cm from the … m. o = assumed as depth of proposed ditch or tile (to centerline) m = m. o. minus drawdown of 0.5 to 1.0 ft dependent on soil type. “Ultimately, these will be pretty sophisticated data sets that may take a bit to interpret. Spacing Spacing Feet in Feet In Meters Per Acre 20 6 2178 25 7.6 1742 30 9 1452 33 10 1320 40 12 1089 50 15 872 60 18 726 66 20 660 70 21 623 80 24 545 90 27 484 100 30 436 1 Rod equals 16.5 feet or 5 meters SPRINGFIELD PLASTICS, INC. Today, it is common to install 15-foot spaced drainage in fields with heavy clay soil. The end result could be improved water and nutrient management on millions of hectares of agricultural lands in North America. “With more and more frequent incidence of drought during the growing season and excessive rainfall during the non-growing season, there have been increasing demands for best management practices that enable farming to adapt for climate change. Because we usually have excessive rain rather than not enough, tile drainage is a huge part of what allows us to do more with our farmland,” Dietrich says. Actual finished grout spaces will vary from 1/8" to 1/4" if 3/16" spacers are used. Forward thinking guys look very long-term. When the tile drain depth was increased from 0.65 to 0.85 meters, the result was increasing total combined surface and sub-surface drain water discharges and nitrate loss by 58 and 39 percent, respectively. These tiles are made of plastic which is great in areas where copious amounts of water will be present. If smaller spacers like 1/8" are used, it will accentuate the size difference of handmade tile. Third-generation grain farmer, Eric Dietrich, was first to contact Kime and first to commit a field. Today, it is common to install 15-foot spaced drainage in fields with heavy clay soil. We’ve had many conversations with farmers about why their tile spacing is not working at 30’ or 50’. “Do I think everyone will go to 10-foot tile. “What is too close? First, the farm will be worth more money. In our part of the world, land is usually very valuable. Copious amounts of water will be worth more money made fade resistant growing again quickly! 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