Wallaces Farmer

Dec. 2 webinar can help you discover and map old tile drainage systems.

December 1, 2020

2 Min Read
Farmers and machines digging random holes with a backhoe to find old drain tile.
DRAIN TILE 101: Readily available information can be used to map and help locate potential problems in the system. Rod Swoboda

Using readily available information and technology to map drainage tile is the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms webinar at noon Dec. 2.

Drainage tile is typically ignored after installation, until a problem develops, or the farmer wants to add onto the system. While there are unique ways of finding tile when you need to — such as witching, pressurizing and smoking — there are also several strategies and tools farmers can use to locate drain tile without digging a dozen holes with a backhoe.

On the Dec. 2 webinar, Kevin Erb, Conservation Professional Training Program coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, division of Extension, will discuss these strategies and the tools available. Most of the tools can use information the farmer already has, or that is readily available.  

Avoid frustration

One of the more frustrating parts of farming is spending the better part of a day (or more) digging random holes with a backhoe to find old drain tile. And waiting until the poorly drained areas show up on next fall’s yield maps means lost yield and profit.

“Investing time now and mapping out your tile systems is a worthwhile investment that will save time in the future,” Erb says. “There are free and low-cost options that make locating older tile systems simpler than ever before. And it can be fun to combine yield maps, aerial photos, and other resources to make it happen.”

In addition to managing the Conservation Professional Training Program, Erb’s Extension programming includes manure management, soil moisture management, drainage, soil health and managing agricultural systems in karst areas.

Webinar access instructions 

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon Dec. 2, go to iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 364 284 172. Or call 312-626-6799 or 646-876-9923 with meeting ID 364 284 172.  

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

A certified crop adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for, for people who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar. 

Source: ISU, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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