Water table management and field tile

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Shallow water tables can impact crop production, said Daniel Ostrem, South Dakota State university Extension water resource field specialist.

"The water level underground can greatly benefit the crop or hinder its growth depending on where it is located in respect to the plant's roots," Ostrem said.

Tile can help manage water tables to increase land productivity but needs to be carefully installed and managed to maximize production and minimize any adverse impacts it may create, Ostrem explained.

He added that before a tile system is installed, it is a good idea to survey the field in order to determine what kind of system will provide the greatest benefit while keeping in mind possible future changes or additions.

"It is helpful to view a drainage system as not just controlling occasional wet spots at the surface after heavy rain, but managing the whole water table within the field," Ostrem said.

There are three main systems that can be utilized to control the level of the water table. The three systems are explained below.

Conventional: This system is the most well-known and requires the least amount of maintenance. It is designed for lowering the water table only by free drainage from the field.

Controlled: This system, also known as drainage water management, it is a controlled design which allows the producer to manage the outlet for either drainage or to conserve additional water in the soil profile, but control is limited to current environmental conditions. While the producer can lower the water table when needed, he or she is only able to raise the water table if enough water is naturally entering into the field.

This additional management ability is obtained by the use of gates on the tile lines that either back up water into the tile or are opened to allow slow or free drainage to occur.

Subirrigation: This is a system very similar to a controlled design but with the ability to add water back into the tile to raise the water table.

Subirrigation requires the greatest cost, engineering, and maintenance. Irrigation should be managed to meet the needs of the crop while keeping in mind the risks involved with a high water table. The water table is managed at a level that provides for crop uptake to meet the water demand but not so high as to reduce aeration in the upper root zone and limit crop development.

Once the type of system to be installed is determined, then a layout can be chosen. Ostrem explained that there are two main types of layouts; targeted, sometimes called random; and parallel, or pattern, drainage.

In South Dakota targeted drainage is the most common layout because it minimizes the upfront costs by only placing tile in the lower areas where they will be most effective in removing water from the field.

A parallel layout is best utilized where the entire field is poorly drained. It creates a series of equally spaced lines that covers a larger area typically than a targeted layout. Parallel drainage has a greater cost with a greater length of lines installed but it also influences a greater area for improved production. A cost/benefit analysis is very important to determine your return on investment when choosing a design layout.

"A drainage or subirrigation system designed for water table management can have a large influence on many environmental factors," Ostrem said.  

More information on the effects of tile can be found by visiting http://igrow.org/agronomy/corn/tile-drainage-imapct/.

This information is only a brief introduction into the broad design concepts of managing water tables. More information on starting a drainage design can be found at http://igrow.org/agronomy/corn/evaluating-tile-drainage-design/.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Quickveyor

Made of high quality 304 stainless steel, the Quickveyor is one of the strongest trailers on the market. It’s belt ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form