Drainage water management for midwestern row crop agriculture
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DRAINAGE WATER MANAGEMENT FOR MIDWESTERN ROW CROP AGRICULTURE. DWM PARTNER FORUM II JUNE 15, 2011 WAYNE HONEYCUTT USDA-NRCS. THE PROJECT. Conservation Innovation Grant Awarded FY-2006 Grantee: Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition

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Drainage water management for midwestern row crop agriculture

DRAINAGE WATER MANAGEMENT FOR MIDWESTERN ROW CROP AGRICULTURE

DWM PARTNER FORUM II

JUNE 15, 2011

WAYNE HONEYCUTT

USDA-NRCS


The project
THE PROJECT AGRICULTURE

  • Conservation Innovation Grant

  • Awarded FY-2006

  • Grantee: Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition

  • Focus area: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, & Minnesota


Collaborators
Collaborators AGRICULTURE

  • Ohio State University

  • Purdue University

  • University of Illinois

  • Iowa State University

  • Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture

  • University of Minnesota

  • USDA-ARS (IA, OH)


Objective

OBJECTIVE AGRICULTURE

To demonstrate the benefits of DWM on water quality, soil quality, and farm economics



Water control structure with data transmission
Water Control Structure AGRICULTUREwith data transmission




Methods
METHODS AGRICULTURE

  • Twenty paired plots (four in each state) compared managed drainage with conventional drainage in fields with similar soils, subsurface drainage systems, yields, and management histories.

  • Most sites were on private farmland, with plots planted using the same corn or soybean varieties, and treated with the same fertilizers and cultural practices


Paired plot example
PAIRED PLOT EXAMPLE AGRICULTURE


Methods1
METHODS AGRICULTURE

  • All sites, except one, were retrofitted subsurface drainage systems, with manual water control structures

  • Managed drainage systems were controlled by the producers

  • Data was transmitted and monitored through the internet


Measurements
MEASUREMENTS AGRICULTURE

  • Water flow rates from subsurface drains

  • Nitrate in water from subsurface drains (at least weekly)

  • Precipitation

  • Crop yields

  • Timing of producer management

  • Production costs


Results yield
RESULTS - Yield AGRICULTURE

  • Crop yields were increased as high as 20 percent, and decreased as low as 12 percent

  • 60 percent of annual comparisons had increased yields, and 40 percent had decreased yields

  • Five-State average yield increase = 1.3 percent


Results
RESULTS AGRICULTURE

  • Drainage Water Management reduced drainage outflow and nitrate loads by up to 90 % (average = 35 %)

  • No significant differences in nitrate concentrations were observed


Results economics
RESULTS - Economics AGRICULTURE

  • DWM components add only 10 percent to total cost of redraining

  • Cost of Water Control Structures for CIG Subsurface Drainage System Retrofits

    Pipe Diameter Cost of Retrofit Cost for 20-acre Zone

    (in.) ($/each) ($/acre)

    6 1,308 65

    8 1,428 71

    10 1,536 77

    12 1,764 88


Results outreach
RESULTS - Outreach AGRICULTURE

  • Field days (22)

  • Training sessions (21)

  • Workshops (43)

  • Technical conferences (67)

  • Periodicals/brochures (7)

  • Producer surveys (1)

  • Radio/TV interviews (2)



Recommendations
RECOMMENDATIONS AGRICULTURE

  • DWM retrofits feasible on field slopes of 0.5 percent or less (potential 10M acres in US)

  • DWM with contour redraining feasible on field slopes of 2.0 percent or less (potential 60M acres in US)


Conclusions

CONCLUSIONS AGRICULTURE

Negligible impacts on yield

Very substantial environmental impacts


Project recommendations
Project Recommendations AGRICULTURE

  • More information on deep and lateral seepage, including denitrification potential

  • Further evaluation of economics


Five state cig impacts
Five-State CIG Impacts AGRICULTURE

  • NRCS Conservation Practice Standard “Drainage Water Management ” (554) was revised in 2008 to include timeframe for manage drainage water

  • NRCS Practice Payment Schedules were revised in 2011 to improve regional consistency for “Drainage Water Management Plan” (130) and “Drainage Water Management” (554)


Continuing efforts
Continuing Efforts AGRICULTURE

  • Collaborators plan to publish State-specific CIG data and results, in peer-reviewed journal (2012)

  • NRCS will utilize soils and crop input files from CIG to start building DRAINMOD database in the Five States (2012)


Further information
Further Information AGRICULTURE

  • ADMC website link to Five-State CIG report:

    http://www.admcoalition.com/stateresources.html

  • NRCS website link to CIG program: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/index.html


Five state cig results managed v conventional drainage 2007 2009
Five-State CIG Results AGRICULTURE Managed v. Conventional Drainage2007-2009

Drainage Nitrate Crop

Outflow Reduction Load Reduction Yield Increase

State (%) (%) (%)

Ohio 60.9 53.4 4.9

Indiana 7.0 0.1 1.4

Illinois 58.3 68.0 1.3

Iowa 39.4 38.8 0.3

Minnesota 22.3 36.1 -0.5

All 34.9 34.4 1.3


Five state cig results regional dwm control plans
Five-State CIG Results AGRICULTURERegional DWM Control Plans


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