Drain tiling at Big Iron

Created: 8/23/11 (Tue) | Topic: Education

The North Dakota State University Extension Service will be conducting tile drain field demonstrations at the Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo on Sept. 13-15.

The demonstrations will include a comprehensive educational program of tile drainage in this region. Each afternoon program will include educational presentations followed by an installation demonstration. There will be a tent at the edge of the field for related displays. Installation demonstrations will be conducted from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the field directly south of the Red River Valley Fairgrounds racetrack.

A local tile drainage company will demonstrate the installation of tile and associated pumps and control structures. Sections of the 71-acre field will be tiled during each afternoon demonstration. The field design includes a control structure that will allow the operator to release only the amount of water needed to provide an aerated crop root zone and ensure good traffic conditions for field operations. This design feature also will facilitate future drainage comparisons on sections of the field.

On Wednesday, event organizers will demonstrate methods to manage the ridges left on the field following drain tile installation.

More information relating to NDSU research and Extension programs on tile drainage are available at:

* Tile drainage and water quality -

* Impact of tile drainage on soil properties -

* Soybean variety response to tile drainage -

Several topics related to subsurface drainage will be discussed by a variety of experts prior to the daily tile installation demonstrations. Presentation topics preceding the demonstrations on Sept. 13 include tile drainage effects on crop production, design issues, and concerns and impact of various types of soil properties on subsurface drainage systems.

Presentation topics on Sept. 13 include U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations applicable to subsurface drainage in this region, tile drain water quality research results and tile drain impacts on saline soils.

The topics planned for the final demonstration day include the economics of tile drainage, drainage water management in the Red River Valley, a new online Natural Resources Conservation Service subsurface drainage interpretation tool and the potential for using cover crops to remove soil moisture.

The Farm and Ranch Guide is co-sponsoring the tile drain demonstration and will archive video recordings of the educational presentations and field demonstrations on its website at

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