The Benefits of Proper Drainage
Improved field drainage creates significant benefits for your soil health, environmental impact, and increased crop yield. Leading to larger profits year after year. Subdrain, also known as Weeping Tile, Drainage Tile, or Big ‘O’ Pipe is proven to improve the health of your crops through the following methods.
- Effective subsurface drainage removes excess soil water in the root zone, allowing for improved soil aeration. Prolonged exposure to saturated conditions and poor soil aeration can stress the crop, reducing yield.
- Drainage improves field trafficability, allowing more reliable field access while reducing compaction. Drier soils are less susceptible to compaction than wetter soils.
- Drainage enables crops to establish deeper root systems in fields, allowing greater access to nutrients and soil water.
- Drainage also reduces the year-to-year variability in yields from poorly drained fields. Increasing nitrification (the conversion of ammonia to nitrate) in most soils, providing more nitrate for plant uptake.
Tony Kime, President of Bluewater Pipe Inc. a Soleno Group Company, is at the forefront of the drainage industry’s technological advancement throughout Ontario. Tony states that “The increased yields are the result of better drought management. Desaturating the soil early in the season allows soil to warm quicker, increases air in the soil, and improves microbial activity. It gives a deeper root zone through the whole field because the water table becomes more level to the field tiles.” Tony conducted an experiment on a 10-acre plot of land using 12.5 foot tile spacing. The corn crop showed an increase of four to five bushels per acre when compared to the plot next to it using 25 foot tile spacing. Farmers can expect a 10 – 20% increase in crop yield after investing in proper drainage.
He suspects the narrower spaced tile will work better in clay soils, as you find in much of Southern Ontario, compared to loam because lateral water flow is lower in heavier soil conditions. Ontario Agra Piping & Supplies Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Bluewater Pipe throughout the Niagara Region.
How to Choose the Right Products
When you begin researching drainage solutions, one of the first things to understand is the soil type throughout your fields. Different drainage products are recommended depending on the levels of sand or clay in your soil. Your soil type also impacts what time of year your installation should take place due to the moisture content. As an example, subdrain shouldn’t be installed in wet clay, while wet sand can be more forgiving during installation.
Drainage tile rolls come in a variety of sizes, with the most popular being 4″ in diameter. They can be perforated, solid or in filter cloth.
Selecting a high quality product manufacturer will help maximize your long term return on investment. Bluewater Pipe will be using third party testing at its facilities moving forward. Subdrains, culverts, and other materials will be checked for consistency and quality at the time of manufacturing. Resulting in a better product, longer functional lifespan, more efficient installation, and more confidence for customers. Along with Bluewater Pipe, Soleno also offers a modern solution for drainage connections; their new universal fittings. Universal injected fittings are easy to install and can be used on all types of pipe with a push and lock system. The universal fittings are available as couplers, internal tees, elbows, end caps and many more common connectors used in subdrain installation. High quality manufacturing and precision leads to faster and easier installation, reducing labour costs. The proactive approach to manufacturing has allowed Soleno to continue to lead the drainage industry.
Ensure High Quality Installation
Just like with any major project or investment, you’ll want to research and connect with multiple professionals to ensure your project is completed to the highest standard. There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding which drainage contractor is the best one to complete your project.
- Use a contractor is fully licensed and properly educated. This should include a business license, machine license, and operator license. There are also additional farm drainage licenses available through organizations like OMAFRA, The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
- One of the best ways to increase the quality of your installation is to select a contractor who will be hands-on throughout the process, and do the work themselves. The individual doing the installation should also be responsible for the planning process so that they understand the conditions of your property.
- Their first step is a land survey, which will allow the contractor to create a topographical map and lay out the subdrain line structure. If the business owner is the person doing both the survey and the installation it will greatly increase their accuracy and efficiency, minimizing the risk of errors.
- Another important step in the planning process is prioritizing your mains. The size of the mains is a key component to having an effective subsurface drainage system. The goal with your drainage is to remove excess water from your field within 24 hours. Installing mains that are large enough for your system will help to drain your field more quickly. This is especially true in areas with extreme weather conditions and high flooding frequency.
Another important step in the planning process is prioritizing your mains. The size of the mains is a key component to having an effective subsurface drainage system. The goal with your drainage is to remove excess water from your field within 24 hours. Installing mains that are large enough for your system will help to drain your field more quickly. This is especially true in areas with extreme weather conditions and high flooding frequency.
Deciding on when to have your subdrain installed is something that all farmers will need to think about. The ideal time for your project is often after the wheat is harvested, so that you can get a second planting in before the end of the season. Plan your crop rotations accordingly so that you can use your field as much as possible throughout the year of installation.
We connected with Ken Hessels, owner of Ken’s Excavating in Wellandport, to learn about the shifting motivations for farmers to invest in proper drainage. “Our fathers used drainage just to get water out of their fields, with modern technology farmers are now using using drainage for increased production.”
Purchase From a Trusted Distributor
Modern drainage technology has proven that close drainage systems, high quality product selection, and proper subdrain installation will increase crop yield for better long-term profitability. Summer can be a great time to plan your project with the help of Ontario Agra Piping & Supplies.
“Whether you’re an existing client or simply in a bind to get tile and other last minute supplies for your farm, our message is simple, we have it when you need it.” says Kyle Wasylin, Sales Manager, Ontario Agra Piping & Supplies Inc.