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Posted on July 16, 2019 at 10:19 AM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 7/15/2019
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
Last week came and went like a flash. New repairs have slowed down considerably since spring. We still have a substantial list of repairs for this fall, plus any new repairs that may come our way. This warm part of the year always seems to fly by. Last week was no exception for drainage.
I was able to attend a drainage and water quality seminar in Willmar, MN last week. It included a very good panel of speakers with a wide range of water quality and management topics. I attended as many speakers as I could for my time allotted. Two sessions really stick out in my memory.
The first session was about the development of a nitrate loss calculator. A team lead by Dr. McMaine has been working on developing the tool to calculate nitrate loss or even potential loss from tile systems. The team hopes the calculator turns into a simple to use and downloadable application for smart phones or tablets. This seems like a simple idea, but with the potential for large returns including, improved water quality and growers saving money by managing the amount of nitrogen fertilizer used, among other possibilities.
The second seminar I really enjoyed was about organic matter and soil health. This was really interesting to me, especially how some simple changes to tillage practices could have huge impacts to drainage, run-off and crop yields. The session focused more around the impacts of conventional tillage and no-till or ridge tillage practices. The studies have been and continue to be done by the University of Minnesota. The no-till or minimum tillage practices had huge improvements to drainage issues, with improved water movement through the soil profile, improved organic matter in the soil profile, along similar or very similar yields when compared to conventional tillage methods. The studies from the U of M actually show improved tile and drainage performance from minimum tillage or no-till situations. These practices may reduce soil erosion, save fertilizer, increase soil organic matter, improve water filtration, and result in less crop loss due to flooding or ponding of surface water.
There were many other good sessions to attend, but I couldn’t fit them all into one day. There are many great and innovative ideas coming forward to help improve our future of water quality. It was a very good seminar and well worth the drive to Marshall.
I managed to escape and head up north for a quick three-day weekend. Just a few photos of our adventure.
Just a few photos from Itasca State Park. Start of the mighty Mississippi.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 8 – July 12:
We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist