Tiling Innovations Demonstrated at Field Day

Jim Jensen, Field Specialist-Farm Management; Greg Brenneman, Field Specialist Ag. Engineering; and Jim Fawcett, Field Specialist-Crop Production, Southeast Area

Problem Statement:

Concerns continue to be voiced about the environmental affects of tiling farmland.  The complaints stem from the nutrients that can be carried in tile water that affect water quality and unwanted algae growth (eutrophication).  Additional concerns have been voiced about draining excess water from the soil that may be needed later in the crop growing season.

Programmatic Response:

The Southeast Iowa Research Association had some land available to do research on and ISU Extension specialists worked up a design to look at tiling techniques that might impact water quality and water preservation.  The Extension specialists wrote and received a NRCS grant to help with some of the project cost and then set in motion a cooperative effort between Extension, the Southeast Research Farm, local tiling contractors, and tiling companies to develop and install a system to study the concerns.  Extension also incorporated a public field day into the installation complete with classes, demonstrations, and exhibits.


The tile installation and field day went well with over 150 people attending the public field day event.  Equipment companies donated the use of equipment and let attendees drive and watch the machines work.  This allowed people to get a feel for what they might be considering purchasing for their farm or contracting business.  Many area farmers studied the design and listened to the reasoning behind the experiments that were set up.  One area farmer actually went home and installed the system that was demonstrated on his 80 acres of farmland.

April 16, 2007
120 - Farm & Business Management

Page last updated: May 11, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu