Sub-Surface Drainage Is the Topic of Workshop

Importance of all aspects of sub-surface drainage to be discussed on March 3

January 24, 2017, 10:13 am | Kapil Arora

AMES, Iowa – Sub-surface drainage is an important part of agriculture in Iowa and a day-long workshop March 3 will focus on topics of interest that have emerged around farmland drainage.Sub Surface Drainage

The Farmland Drainage Workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. at the Iowa Bioprocess Training Center in Eddyville. The workshop qualifies for Certified Crop Advisor credits, which have already been applied for.

The workshop will provide information essential for designing and planning a new drainage system or retrofitting an existing system. The economic and long-term benefits of tiling will be covered, as will a discussion on environmental impacts from drainage. New technology that may be useful in minimizing negative environmental impacts will also be covered.

“The importance of subsurface drainage is clear, and this program will provide information farmers need to plan for improvements to their own drainage systems,” said Kapil Arora, field agricultural engineer with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The morning session will discuss choosing a contractor, planning a drainage project, nutrient cycling in soils and the long-term benefits of tiling. Afternoon sessions will focus on the economics of tiling, rental agreements to pursue tiling when landlords won’t install them, drainage issues, water quality and legal issues related to tiling.

Additional ISU Extension and Outreach speakers include: Nathan Crane, regional extension educational director; Mike Castellano, associate professor of agronomy; Matt Helmers, professor and extension agricultural engineer; Charles Brown, farm management specialist; Greg Brenneman, agricultural engineering specialist; and John Baker, administrator with the Beginning Farmer Center. Chris Hay, a senior environmental scientist with the Iowa Soybean Association, will also speak at the event.  The workshop is sponsored, in part, by the Iowa Farm Bureau of Mahaska and Wapello Counties, and by the Iowa Soybean Association.

Various industry partners will be available to answer general drainage questions.

Registration is $40 before Feb. 28 and $60 after that date. Workshop materials, morning refreshments and lunch are included. Registration is limited to the first 80 people who sign up. Participants can register by completing and submitting the form located at and making payment to Mahaska County Extension. For more information, download the workshop brochure or call ISU Extension and Outreach in Mahaska County at 641-673-5841.

About the Authors: