Purdue University | Indiana CCA

Proceedings 2009

Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Conference

What Every CCA Should Know About Drainage

Within the cornbelt of the U.S. the use of subsurface drainage systems has been important and perhaps essential in the development of the current agricultural production systems. How water is managed relative to subsurface drainage not only impacts crop production but can also impact the quality and quantity of the water leaving the agricultural field. As a result it is important to understand how subsurface drainage implementation, design, and management may impact crop production and water. This paper and presentation will discuss how subsurface drainage works, how drainage design relative to drain sizing and spacing may impact crop production, and how new technologies for managing drainage water may provide both production and water quality benefits. In addition, some of the commonly held myths about subsurface drainage will be discussed.


Back to Index

Shawn ConleyDr. Matthew HelmersAssociate Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer
Iowa State University

Dr. Matt Helmers is an Associate Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. His research and extension focus at Iowa State is in the areas of water quality and water resources management. In particular, he is studying water quality effects of agricultural best management practices including strategic placement and design of buffer systems and methods to improve water quality in tile drained landscapes. He is active in investigating the impacts of cropping practices, fertilization practices, and subsurface drainage management practices on drainage water quality and crop production. His Extension program is focused on education of producers and other stakeholders on the impacts of agricultural practices on water resources and water quality and on implementation of practices to reduce potential impacts.