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Extension > Agriculture > Crops > Agricultural Drainage > About the program

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About the Program


Artificial drainage systems have supported agricultural production in Minnesota for over a hundred years. Surface and subsurface (tile) drainage systems are an integral part of the landscape in the Minnesota River and Red River Basins and help ensure successful agricultural crop production in these regions (and other regions of the U.S.). Societal expectations toward wetlands and the environment have changed since the inception of the Clean Water Act (1972) and Swampbuster provisions (1985). Basic and applied research is underway to improve our understanding of how artificial drainage impacts the environment and how drainage practices can change to reduce these impacts.

Education can help drainage practitioners and stakeholders (farmers, contractors, consultants, agency staff, local decision makers) understand how they can accomplish the dual objectives of agricultural production while minimizing unwanted environmental effects. Other sectors of society are in need of education about water management alternatives for agriculture and how these alternatives affect society at large.



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