Agricultural drainage design workshops set for region January – March

Farm Forum

A Drainage Design Workshop will be held in the Tech Center, Room 87, on the campus of the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., on Feb. 11-12 and in the Sargeant Student Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota – Crookston on March 5-6.

The workshops are a collaborative effort by the University of Minnesota Extension, North Dakota State University Extension Service and South Dakota State University Extension Service.

The workshops are intended for farmers, landowners, consultants, drainage contractors, government agency staff, water resource managers or anyone interested in a more complete understanding of the planning and design principles and practices for drainage and water table management systems.

The two-day workshops start at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. on day two. The workshops will focus on the planning and design of agricultural tile drainage systems to meet profitability and environmental objectives. The course content is taught using a hands-on manner. There also will be a great deal of discussion time.

Planning topics include the legal aspects of drainage, basics of drainable soils, agronomic perspectives, doing your own tiling, land evaluation tools, wetlands, and conservation drainage concepts and techniques.

The design topics begin with basic design considerations and progress through small-team projects with several hands-on, problem-solving examples covering basic design and layout principles, water flow calculations, drain spacing, sizing and grades. Design principles for lift stations and conservation drainage practices also will be discussed.

There are two similar workshops planned in the region for those who are unable to attend the meetings in Wahpeton or Crookston. They are Jan. 29 – 30 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. and March 18 – 19 at the Holiday Inn in Owatonna, Minn.

To register for the workshops, go to The early registration fee is $225 but increases to $300 three weeks before the start of each workshop. Each workshop is limited to 65 participants.

For more information, contact Tom Scherer, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer, at (701) 231-7239 or; Hans Kandel, NDSU Extension agronomist, (701) 231-8135 or; Gary Sands, U of M Extension engineer, (612) 625-4756 or; Brad Carlson, U of M Extension educator for crops, (507) 389-6745 or; and Chris Hay, SDSU Extension water management engineer, (605) 688-5610 or