Drain your water not your dollars

Farmland northeast of Winnipeg can produce great yields… if it doesn’t rain… but generally it rains. “Drought” is a word that doesn’t exist in farmer’s vocabulary around here. “Flood” is a common word though. The prevalent winds come sweeping down from the northwest, sucking up moisture from Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg. The […] Read more


Drainage design by drones

A UAV helicopter (unmanned aerial vehicle) bouncing a pulsating laser beam off the Earth’s surface can produce a topographical field map with sub-one-inch accuracy. The result is a highly precise drainage map. The system is called LIDAR, standing for Light Detection and Ranging. Until recently, it was only affordable in the realm of geoscience researchers. […] Read more


Drain without deluge: slow the water flow

FARGO, N.D. — Jeff Penner isn’t selling a machine so much as he’s selling a concept. He’s showing farmers how to achieve good drainage without letting a drop of water flow off the field. There’s an old saying about how everybody lives downstream from somebody else. Likewise, we also live upstream from somebody, which carries […] Read more



Sask. farmers still have late chance to change drainage bill

There is still time to make changes to Bill 44, proposed legislation that would make significant amendments to the Water Security Agency Act, according to Saskatchewan Environment Minister Scott Moe. But time is of the essence. Any last minute changes need to received by government quickly and approved by the province, Moe told delegates at […] Read more


VIDEO: Drones used to target areas for drainage

Unmanned aerial vehicle technology has advanced to the point that an RTK-equipped drone with elevation accuracy of plus or minus five centimetres can find the best route for water across a field. Prairie companies are working together to make every acre pay its way. One topographic-capable un-manned drone is a fixed wing eBee RTK, retailing […] Read more



Water regulations can be tricky

Alberta farmers do not own the water that sits on their land, whether it is in a puddle, a pothole or a wetland. That fact surprises many, said wetland specialist and biologist Jay White. As the principal researcher at Aquality Environmental Consulting, part of his job is to assess the permanence of water and help […] Read more


Alberta nudges farmers on water regulations

The Alberta government encourages farmers to do the right thing as a way to avoid the penalty part of enforcement

It was once the obscure domain of behavioral scientists, but nudging is now a global enterprise. Companies, governments and non-government organizations are constantly devising strategies to “nudge” the public in the right direction so that people make healthy, sustainable and ethical choices. The Alberta government is employing the nudging approach for its new wetlands policy. […] Read more


Much ado about drainage

Water. It seems there is either too much of it or not enough where farmers are concerned. The last several years in Saskatchewan have generally been wet, with extensive flooding in some areas, and that has led to a greater focus on unauthorized agricultural drainage. As part of its 25-year Water Security Plan, released in […] Read more



Save money: move less soil, more water

Achieving good drainage doesn’t always require massive amounts of soil movement

The cost to move soil for a surface drain ranges from $1 to $3.50 per cubic yard, depending on soil type and the distance the soil needs to move. That means a drainage plan that involves moving 346 cubic yards will cost $346 to $1,211 per acre. The high-end number seems like a lot of […] Read more


Underground tiles seen as long-term investment

LACOMBE, Alta. — Tired of seeing his best land not produce his best crops, Craig Shaw has started to install underground tile drainage on his Alberta farm. “We were losing our best land,” said Shaw, who farms near Lacombe. “We’re trying to get better crops over the low parts of our fields.” Shaw and his […] Read more