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Drainage fact sheet

Gary R. Sands

Drainage status

minnesota-map

Minnesota has more than 21,000 miles of ditches and channelized streams (shown in red, above: source, DNR), which serve as the drainage infrastructure for the agricultural reguions of Minnesota. Meeting water quality drainage needs for agriculture is a current priority.

stream

Gary R. Sands, University of Minnesota

Drainage benefits and impacts

research

Jonathan Chapman Extensive research is underway exploring opportunities to mitigate unwanted environmental effects while maintaining agricultural productivity

"Conservation drainage" practices include:

Drainage water management

water-control-structures

R. Cooke, University of Illinois

Water control structures enable shallower water tables to be achieved, conserving water and nutrients in the soil profile.

research

Gary R. Sands, University of Minnesota

control-zones

Gary R. Sands, University of Minnesota

Drainage water management design (left) calls for dividing the field into water control/management zones, aligning laterals with the field contours, and using control structures. Annual subsurface flow and nitrate reductions from 10 to 50% may be possible.

research

USDA-ARS

Extensive research is underway exploring opportunities to mitigate unwanted environmental effects while maintaining agricultural productivity

Water control structures are manually adjusted (right) or can be automated, if desired.

 

 

 

 

Further reading and information

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M1292 2010

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