NEWS

Finger Lakes transplant changed farming forever

You wouldn't guess it by the name. But something as mundane-sounding as drain tiles actually changed the course of farming in the United States and made one local farmer—ridiculed at first—famous and prosperous. John Johnston was an unlikely entrepreneur. Born in 1791 in Scotland to a family of sheep farmers, Johnston arrived in New York City in 1821...

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Farmers try controlled drainage to keep water, nutrients in place

Too much or too little water accounts for about 67% of the risk in growing corn and soybeans. That risk could be dramatically cut with controlled drainage. On flatter soils, water tables can be raised and lowered with structures inserted into tile lines. The structures double up on tile functions, backing water up in a field when the crop needs it, as well as draining it...

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Soil salt spots bigger this year in North Dakota

Areas of North Dakota with a white crust on the soil are expanding this spring due to an accumulation of salts in the soil. “Soil salinity is caused by excess soil moisture that dissolves subsoil salts and brings those salts to the soil surface,” explains Chris Augustin, area Extension soil health specialist at North Dakota State University’s North Central Research Extension Center near Minot...

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Farmer uses tiles to drain, and irrigate, field

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A farmer in the Red River Valley is one of a few testing a new idea to bring back excess water to fields when it’s needed. Having too much water is often a problem for farmers in the valley. But Gerry Zimmerman, who farms near Moorhead, Minnesota, has devised a system to pump water from a drainage ditch back into fields through underground drain tile...

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Man. group eager to have farmer input on water drainage

WINKLER, Man. — Adam Wiebe took time off from his spring farming preparations to attend a day-long meeting about managed drainage. He left the meeting, which he had heard about only the day before, as a new board member for the Manitoba Agricultural Water Management Association. That’s exactly what association president Chris Unrau was hoping to see occur at the meeting...

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MAWMA Seeking Producer Members

A new water management association wants to become a common voice for Manitoba producers looking to promote sustainable water management. The Manitoba Agricultural Water Management Association (MAWMA) held its annual meeting Tuesday in Winkler. President Chris Unrau says after two and half years in existence, the group is now looking to expand...

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Excess water and farm drainage: Part 1 of 3

This is Part 1 of a three-part series on drainage. Part 2 will deal with water quality and Part 3 with wet cycles and extreme weather. The past few years have been “back to the 1950s” for rain. Excess water has been the result. The 1950s spawned the Conservation and Development Branch (C&D) of Saskatchewan Agriculture to help farmers deal with excess water...

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Tile drainage attracts attention and concerns

Stan Wiebe, who uses drainage tiles extensively on the farm he operates with his father and brother, said drainage tiles have drastically improved their canola yields. He told a meeting held during Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon on Jan. 18-20, that 2005 was an extremely wet year in the MacGregor area. A canola field with tiles yielded more than 53 bushels per acre...

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Tile drainage saves crop in wet years

LACOMBE, Alta. — Craig Shaw isn’t afraid to try new things, whether it is experimenting with controlled traffic farming or seeding canola with a vacuum planter. However, he says the most important new technology for his farm near Lacombe, Alta., is tile drainage. “It’s the difference between a crop and no crop,” he said during a tour of new technology experiments on his farm. “It’s the best investment we have made since the no-till days.”...

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Understanding farm water issues

Corn prices. Why am I getting emails with those words in the subject line? Why does Gmail’s spam filter let that slip by? I’ve been telling people for a couple years now that I farm. To border guards and others who’d trust or like me more if I worked with my hands, I am a farmer. It’s not a lie, and I enjoy the title. The only person left to convince is me, apparently. We don’t grow corn...

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