Beyond redeeming drown outs.
Often times we run into clients that have several very saturated areas on a farm. These range from as little as 2 or 3 acres to as many as 20 acres that consistently flood year over year. The first instinct is to focus on these areas. They are typically seen as the most obvious problem and therefore considered to be the most urgent.
By no means would I advise against tiling these areas, they can certainly benefit greatly from doing so. I’m suggesting that we take a moment to consider the facts and look at the farm as a whole. We want to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is manage the water table.
Grasping the basics.
Firstly depending on soil types ( discussed in later blog) it is typically most beneficial to lower the water table uniformly across an entire field. You may be surprised to find that the moderate and even well producing areas are where adequate drainage will consistently pay dividends. More than just safe guarding against heavy rains having a lower water table results in far better root structure. This allows for a much better tolerance of the drought seasons we often see in mid summer.
Secondly when we consider the cost and potential poor design of simply “spot tiling” drowned acres several issues arise. This practice can often result in inadequate planning for the future. Failing in this area can leave you with undersized mains and submains. We have seen many cases where laterals were not ran the most effective direction or simply didn’t go as far as they should. Worse yet when the big picture is not brought into perspective you may end up with a system that is not utilizing the most efficient outlet. Whichever the case, the last thing you would want to do is overlook the future of the farm.
In many of the cases dealing in low lying areas the “worst parts” of the farm will no doubt improve post drainage but will still remain the worst producing area on wet years. Rather than take care of the wettest areas and calling it a finished project, system tiling an entire farm provides more uniform drainage as well as big yield bumps in the best producing areas as well.
In closing, with most scenarios lowering the water table across a farm as a whole will massively improve crop stand overall, not just the areas that are visibly suffering. So, the next time you are considering a drainage project allow us to walk you through a comprehensive design of the entire farm. We can show you just how great of an investment vehicle system drainage can be!