Tile drainage webinar set for Mar. 25

North Dakota State University Extension
Farm Forum

Producers and others will have an opportunity to learn more about tile drainage during an online tile drainage design and management webinar. The webinar will be hosted by North Dakota State University Extension on Mar. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

“This tile design educational event is intended for agricultural producers and those interested in understanding basic design principles and agronomic practices for tile drainage, including utilizing subirrigation and managing the water table with control boxes,” Hans Kandel, NDSU Extension agronomist and workshop co-organizer said. “This would be of interest to farmers, landowners, consultants, tile industry personnel and others interested in water management.”

The workshop will focus on the principles of planning and designing agricultural tile drainage systems, including water management structures and lift stations, as well as the agronomic benefits of tile drainage.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Basic drainage design principles, soils parameters and drainage coefficient
  • Agronomic considerations and benefits of water management
  • Online drainage design tools
  • Controlled drainage and subirrigation options
  • Lift stations and design

“Understanding the fundamentals of tile drainage and knowing some of the design aspects is essential for a properly designed tile drainage system, which may include water control structures and/or pump units. These need to be considered up front,” Tom Scherer, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer and the workshop’s other organizer said. “A properly designed and installed subsurface drainage system is usually almost maintenance free for many years and can last longer than a farming career.”

Kandel added, “Although we have been dry during the last part of 2020 and this winter, most of our agricultural crops perform poorly in saturated soil conditions...With heavy rainfall events, the risk of crop stress has increased. A tiled field with the option to control the water table will give farmers a means to reduce production risk due to situations where there may be excess water or not enough.”

Attendees also will receive a list of several pertinent extension tile drainage resources as reference materials.

The program is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/nrwps53w. Those who pre-register will receive emailed instructions on how to participate in the meeting.

Workers connect tile to a plow on a sunny day.