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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
  • Conservation Innovation Grant
  • Awarded FY-2006
  • Grantee: Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition
  • Focus area: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, & Minnesota
collaborators
Collaborators
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois
  • Iowa State University
  • Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture
  • University of Minnesota
  • USDA-ARS (IA, OH)
objective

OBJECTIVE

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

methods
METHODS
  • 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
methods1
METHODS
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Field days (22)
  • Training sessions (21)
  • Workshops (43)
  • Technical conferences (67)
  • Periodicals/brochures (7)
  • Producer surveys (1)
  • Radio/TV interviews (2)
recommendations
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 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

Negligible impacts on yield

Very substantial environmental impacts

project recommendations
Project Recommendations
  • More information on deep and lateral seepage, including denitrification potential
  • Further evaluation of economics
five state cig impacts
Five-State CIG Impacts
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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

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