Increased collaborative research and planning discussions regarding drainage water storage practices and concepts. This included working with team members and 3 new collaborators to add new experimental sites highlighting saturated buffers (8), controlled drainage (1), and drainage water recycling (1). These sites and collaborators strengthen the growing Transforming Drainage network and will work with team members to advance the awareness and understanding of drainage water storage practices through project synthesis, modeling, and extension activities.
Presented 31 research presentations, 13 posters, and two conference papers (Hay and Helmers, 2017; Helmers and Brenneman, 2016) at events including annual meetings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, EPA nonpoint source workshops and the Gulf Coast of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force, North Central Region Water Network, Soil and Water Conservation Society, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. Efforts also included a variety of state-level events in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota.
Authored/co-authored 13 peer-reviewed articles highlighting various aspects of drainage water storage and agricultural water management practices. These articles included new research regarding the design of tile systems for drainage water recycling (Nelson, 2017; Jia et al., 2017) and novel methods to evaluate the practice of controlled drainage using continuous water table and drain flow measurements (Saadat et al., 2017; Saadat et al. 2018).
Published the Extension article titled, “Questions and Answers about Drainage Water Recycling in the Midwest” (Frankenberger et al., 2017). This collaborative publication is the work of extension specialists from across the U.S. Corn Belt and serves as a valuable reference for increasing the awareness and understanding of drainage water recycling in the Midwest.
Delivered 52 extension presentations and hosted more the 2,600 agricultural producers and drainage contractors at extension events highlighting the design, implementation, and management of saturated buffers, controlled drainage, and drainage water recycling.
Collected field data from 22 experimental sites to build on a regional database containing 161 site-years of yield data (59% increase from year 2), 166 site-years of tile flow (71% increase), 72 site-years of water table (67% increase), 122 site-years of tile water nitrate-nitrogen concentration (25% increase), and 170 site-years of weather (21% increase) from 34 sites across 8 states.
Developed regional, field, and sub-field scale models to explore and quantify the function and benefits of saturated buffers, controlled drainage, and drainage water recycling. These models have demonstrated the utility of pairing the agroecosystem model DRAINMOD with other tools, such as the crop model DSSAT and the Riparian Ecosystem Management Model (REMM), to evaluate impacts of controlled drainage and saturated buffers on drainage volume, nitrogen losses, and crop yields (Negm et al. 2017). Regional analysis using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model have begun to show patterns and variability in subsurface drainage, both under current and future climate scenarios, thereby impacting the potential feasibility of drainage water recycling in certain parts of the Midwest.
Completed initial development for two online tools to support the evaluation of controlled drainage and drainage water recycling. A GIS-based tool was developed in partnership with USDA-NRCS to identify potentially suitable lands for controlled drainage using geospatial data on soils, topography, and land use. The Drainage Water Recycling Evaluation Tool uses daily drain flow, climate, and soils data to estimate the potential water quality and irrigation benefits provided for a range of sizes of water storage reservoir. Both tools will be made available here.
Introduced students to the concepts of drainage water storage and agricultural water management to undergraduate and pre-collegiate students through interactive laboratory modules, course lectures, and online webinars. More than 4,500 students at 61 schools and 13 states learned about agricultural drainage and resilience as part of an online webinar during distance-based educational programming called Purdue Zip Trips. An additional 2,000 students learned about water management in an online webinar hosted as part of the Rotary World Affairs Conference.
Frankenberger, J. B. Reinhart, K. Nelson, L Bowling, C. Hay, M. Youssef, J. Strock, X. Jia, M. Helmers, and B. Allred. 2017. Questions and Answers About Drainage Water Recycling in the Midwest. Purdue University Extension. West Lafayette, IN. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.33619.78883.
Hay, C. & Helmers, M. 2017. Evaluating benefits of drainage water recycling for crop production in Iowa. In C. N. Dunn & B. Van Weele (Eds.), Proc. World Environmental and Water Resources Congress. doi:10.1061/9780784480601.043.
Helmers, M.J. and G. Brenneman. 2016. Drainage design for improved profits and water quality. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Integrated Crop Management Conference. Ames, IA: Iowa State University. USDA Acknowledgement.
Jia, X., T. F. Scherer, D. D. Steele, and T. M. DeSutter. 2017. Subirrigation system performance and evaluation in the Red River Valley of the North. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. In Press. doi:10.13031/aea.12286.
Negm, L.M., Youssef, M.A., Jaynes, D.B. 2017. Evaluation of DRAINMOD-DSSAT simulated effects of controlled drainage on crop yield, water balance, and water quality for a corn-soybean cropping system in central Iowa. Agricultural Water Management. 187. 57-68. doi: 10.1016/j.agwat.2017.03.010.
Nelson, K.A. 2017. Soybean yield variability of drainage and subirrigation systems in a claypan soil. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. In Press. doi: 10.13031/aea.12276. USDA Acknowledgement.
Saadat, S., Bowling, L., Frankenberger, J., & Brooks, K. 2017. Effects of Controlled Drainage on Water Table Recession Rate. Transactions of the ASABE. 60(3). 813-821. doi: 10.13031/trans.11922.
Saadat, S., Bowling, L., Frankenberger, J., and E. Kladivko, E. 2018. Estimating drain flow from measured water table depth in layered soils under free and controlled drainage. Journal of Hydrology. 556. 339-348. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.11.001.