North Iowa Farmland Drainage Workshops Scheduled

AMES, Iowa – Subsurface drainage, commonly known as an ag tile system, is an important part of agricultural systems in Iowa. An Iowa State University Extension and Outreach drainage workshop will examine various aspects of farmland drainage, according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach engineers organizing the workshop.

The 2012 Drainage Design Workshop will cover the basics of planning a new drainage system or retrofitting an existing system. The workshop will be offered in three north Iowa locations – March 13 in Mason City, March 14 in Algona, and March 15 in Le Mars. The program begins at 10 a.m. and will adjourn at 3 p.m. at all locations.

“To function most efficiently, all components of a subsurface drainage system should be designed to work together,” said Kris Kohl, ISU Extension and Outreach agricultural engineer. “While the economic benefits of tiling are well recognized, there are also environmental impacts from drainage. We will be discussing pumps on outlets and other new technologies that may be useful in minimizing negative environmental impacts.”

The morning session will focus on drainage design concepts, economics and working with rental agreements to get tiling done. Thomas Scherer, North Dakota State University Extension engineer, will discuss new control systems for pumped outlets and their success in the Red River Valley of North Dakota. In addition to Scherer, ISU Extension ag engineers and farm management specialists are morning presenters.

The afternoon session will include discussions on the long term benefits of tiling, implications of drainage water management, discussions on controlled drainage, bioreactors and managing drainage water quality with wetlands. Iowa State University agricultural engineers will present afternoon sessions.

The registration fee is $35 per person and includes lunch and refreshments. See workshop locations and registration information for each site:

  • March 13 – Mason City, 4-H Learning Center, North Iowa Fairgrounds, 2023 S. Federal Ave. Registration deadline is March 9. To register, call 641-423-0844.
  • March 14 – Algona, Water's Edge Nature Center, 1010 250th Street. Registration deadline is March 12. To register, call 515-295-2469.
  • March 15 – LeMars, LeMars Convention Center, 275 12th Street SE. Registration deadline is March 13. To register, call 712-546-7835.

Registrations after the deadline or at the door will be charged $45 per person.

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