Swan River farmer Jeff Penner advocates wide shallow drains like this, which meander around the field so water soaks into the ground instead of flowing off the field.  |  Chris Laing photo

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. Environment Minister Scott Moe says any last minute changes must be consistent with the bill's primary goal, which is aimed at organizing and controlling agricultural drainage in the province. | File photo

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

Three eBee UAV units wait to be put into the air. At $80,000 each, plus three RTK correction units, the equipment to do 3D mapping is not inexpensive.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

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


Alberta farmers do not own the water that sits on their land, whether it is in a puddle, a pothole or a wetland.
 | File photo

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

The Alberta government is taking steps to control water drainage on the province’s farmland.  |  File photo

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

Prairie soils are irregular, creating potholes and ridges that result in lost productivity.  |  File photo

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

It doesn’t take much horsepower to pull the tile plow, just good traction, said Craig Shaw of Lacombe, Alta., who wants to tile the low-lying areas of the field so they can be seeded.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

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


Drainage tile installer moves into pipe making

Demand exceeds supply Manitoba installation company says pipe shortage prompted the manufacturing venture

With demand booming for agricultural drainage tile in southern Manitoba, a company that installs the tile is expanding its operations, but in a slightly different direction. Precision Land Solutions of Winkler has founded a subsidiary, AccuPipe, which will manufacture high-density polyethylene pipe, also known as drainage tile. “We’ve seen so much demand for our services […] Read more