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Taking control of water on the farm

The Around Farm Progress Podcast looks at the idea of managed drainage, which can keep water and nutrients where needed through the season

In agriculture there are factors that are beyond a farmer's control. Weather is a big challenge and sometimes with it is the lack, or over-abundance of water. Over the past two decades the push to tile more ground to clear field wet spots, has been a boon to productivity. Now there may be another benefit?

More farmers are looking at managed drainage. In effect, this involves installing control structures on a tile system that can shut a tile to keep water in the soil profile, but later be opened to drain. With this approach the producer has better control of crop access to water through the season, and there's a stewardship benefit too.

Curt Arens with Nebraska Farmer and Dakota Farmer recently wrote about the practice working with a South Dakota producer. In this week's episode of Around Farm Progress, he shares how it works and what the installation has meant to that farmer.

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Related: Farmer finds solution to water problems

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Curt Arensmanaged-drainage-arens.jpg

A tile plow is increasingly familiar around the country, the structure on the right helps manage water flow in the system. This allows a user to keep, or release, water as needed through the growing season.

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