Farmland drainage systems are the focus of Iowa drainage school

Iowa State University Extension
Kapil Arora leads a discussion on drainage.

NASHUA, Iowa – Agricultural drainage is an important management tool for crop production in many areas of Iowa. The design, installation and maintenance of drainage systems is the focus of the Iowa Drainage School to be held Aug. 24-26 at the Borlaug Learning Center on Iowa State University’s Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua. 

“Iowa Drainage School provides educational opportunities for all interested in drainage, whether they are contractors, farmers, consulting engineers, county officials or others,” said Matt Helmers, professor and agricultural engineering specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “The school focuses on the fundamentals of drainage design, including getting an accurate survey, drainage pipe size and spacing, controlled drainage and water table management, legal considerations and different installation techniques and equipment.”

The three-day school features classroom lectures and discussions combined with team problem solving and field exercises. Student teams will survey and design a drainage system for a sample area of the host farm using concepts learned during classroom discussions. By attending this school, participants will be able to plan and lay out subsurface drainage systems and work out project costs. In-field equipment and drainage tile installation demonstrations will also take place. 

Registration is $350 per person if registered by midnight, Aug. 10. Late registration is $400 and must be received by midnight, Aug. 17. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration includes meals indicated on the agenda, refreshments, course notebook and drainage reference materials.

Additional program information and online registration is available at

For assistance with registration or to ask questions, contact Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Services at 515-294-6429 or