This could be a big fall for tiling, if the weather allows. If not, there could be tiling into spring, or as soon as winter weather breaks. The demand is there, from both farmers with tile plows and from landowners who are calling contractors to put in tile.
Two factors seem to be driving the continued interest in installing tile. First, it was another wet spring, and the lack of tile showed up in wet spots in fields, which may or may not have translated into lost nitrogen and less yield.
Yield maps form combine yield monitors will likely show what effect, if any, those situations had, plus how far out the effects of a wet area can go. Often it's farther than most people think, and extends beyond the wet spot itself.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, with high land prices, even with lower crop prices, tiling to improve land you already own is more attractive in many cases than trying to buy land. Many are finding investing in what they already have to make it more productive seems to be a wiser move.
The phone is ringing off the hook, or more accurately today, buzzing often in the pocket, of at least one tile contractor who talked to us. He already has a season's worth of work lined up once he finishes his own harvest. And his list is growing. He continues to add names.
Most of his work comes from word of mouth. One person will line him up for a job. Then that person's neighbor will find out, take a hard look at his own ground, and call and want tile installed as well. Before long he has all the tiling business he can handle for the season, the contractor says.
Look for tile sitting in fields in rolls and machines running, putting in tile, as the weather allows.