Deeper dives into drainage water management could help reduce nutrient runoff

August 20, 2020

Which cutting-edge nutrient stewardship practice requires a typography map, gates on drainage tile and knowledge of your soil profile? If you thought of the term drainage water management (DWM), you’d be on the right track.

In Shelby County, farmers and University of Illinois researchers are working closely to learn more about DWM and its potential to reduce nutrient loss through a working system of adjustable control structures that can manipulate tile outflow levels.

Stephen Anderson, who farms just outside of Shelbyville, recently gave insights into the experiment at the fourth Illinois Farm Bureau Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program virtual field day.

Last spring, Anderson installed six Agri Drain control structures and two gate valves on his uncle’s 280-acre field of Drummer soil – a typically poorly draining soil found in central Illinois. 

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