Controlled drainage, also known as drainage water management, is the practice of using a water control structure to raise the depth of the … Read More
In partnership with a collaborating farmer, the University of Minnesota conducts research on farm drainage practices including conventional drainage and controlled drainage across both cropland and prairie land use types.
The Bear Creek saturated buffer, in central Iowa, is a private collaborator site with research by USDA-ARS. The field drops over 20 vertical feet to a 66 ft. wide, 3-stage buffer established with switchgrass, shrub-grass mix, and silver maple.
University of Minnesota’s Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC), near Lamberton, MN, provides an opportunity to capture drainage runoff for irrigation use.
USDA-ARS, working with a collaborating farmer, established this demonstration site in west-central OH to evaluate conventional and controlled drainage water management practices.
Located at Missouri’s Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Center, the MUDS 3 site was established to evaluate undrained, conventional drainage, and controlled drainage as part of a integrated crop-livestock system on claypan soils.
The Ross Jones Farm, part of Missouri’s Greenley Research Center, includes the MUDS1 site. Site practices include undrained with and without overhead irrigation, conventional drainage, and controlled drainage with subirrigation.
The Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Center, near Novelty, MO, is the site of MUDS 2. This site was established to evaluate undrained, conventional drainage, and controlled drainage in a corn-soybean rotation on claypan soils.
North Dakota State researchers work with a collaborating farmer near Fargo, ND to evaluate controlled drainage with and without subirrigation.
Research at Iowa State University’s Southeast Research Farm (SERF) includes the evaluation of undrained, conventional drainage, shallow drainage, and controlled drainage across corn and soybean plots.
The University of Missouri’s MUDS site 4 is a private collaborator site located on poorly drained floodplain soils in northeastern Missouri. MUDS 4 evaluates undrained, conventional drainage, and controlled drainage plots.
South Dakota State Univ. Southeast Research Farm (SERF), located near Beresford, SD, includes demonstration plots comparing conventional drainage and controlled drainage.
On a tributary of the South Skunk River in Iowa, USDA-ARS has worked with a collaborating farmer to evaluate the use of saturated buffers. This site 1,000 ft. long by 120 ft. wide with switchgrass as the dominant vegetation.
Saturated buffers store water within the soil of field buffers, by diverting tile water into shallow laterals that raise the water table … Read More
Drainage Water Recycling
Drainage water recycling diverts surface and subsurface drainage water into on-farm ponds or reservoirs, where it is stored until it can be … Read More
Our multistate project "Managing Water for Increased Resiliency of Drained Agricultural Landscapes", also known as "Transforming Drainage", is a collaborative effort aimed at addressing important land management questions through the assessment and development of new agricultural drainage technologies. Drainage is an essential component of the landscape to provide suitable growing conditions for the crops that feed and support both local and global communities. This infrastructure also creates a pathway for environmental losses to occur. With anticipated changes in seasonal precipitation patterns, water security for growing crops as well as practices to minimize offsite environmental impacts are of growing interest to landowners and the public. The vision for this project is that the process of designing and implementing agricultural drainage will be transformed so that storing water in the landscape will be considered for every drainage system as a foundation for resilient and productive agricultural systems.
The Project and Team
The Transforming Drainage Project (Project Fact Sheet) addresses the need to provide more secure water for crops throughout the … Read More
Collaborators and Advisory Committee
One of the primary objectives of the Transforming Drainage project is to foster collaboration among a wide network of stakeholders. This … Read More
The Experimental Sites
The Transforming Drainage project will determine economic and environmental benefits and costs of drainage water retention practices through … Read More