Tile drainage began in Manitoba mainly on potato acres in the 1990s and ever since there’s been an incremental expansion of the practice to additional crops and a westward move into Saskatchewan and Alberta.  |   Phil Hossack photo

Making new cropped acres from old fields

Farmers know where their fields could use some drainage, where tile systems might be a solution. But deciding whether or not it will make them money is a tougher choice. What makes a field a good candidate for a tile investment that will provide a clear return on investment? Thomas Scherer of North Dakota State […] Read more

Two studies were published this summer that show significant return on investment of tile drainage in American cropping conditions. 
| File photo

American study shows broad scale of returns on investments

Two studies were published this summer that show significant return on investment of tile drainage in American cropping conditions. Eileen Kladivko of Purdue University published an update on a 35-year study on a 15-acre plot of poorly drained silt loam soil in Indiana where tile drainage was installed. When the study began in the early […] Read more

Parts of the Prairies have too much water in the spring and too little in the summer months. Controlled drainage is a way to store water in the field, making it available when needed or removed when needed.
 | File photo

Tile drainage can make land more sustainable

In much of Manitoba, this fall was the season of tractor tire ruts. From late August until the middle of October, about 200 millimetres of rain and snow fell on southern Manitoba and North Dakota. The excess precipitation turned farm fields into soup, and growers struggled to get combines and tractors on the land. Some […] Read more


A Manitoba producer says tile drainage has produced dramatic results on his farm.  |  File photo

Tile drainage boosts profitability

BRANDON — Is it worth spending $1,000 per acre on tile drainage to get a $40 boost in crop production? If not, is it worth spending that amount to double net profitability? In fact, those are both the same question and should have the same answer, according to Brandon-area farmer Aaron Hargreaves. If tile drainage […] Read more

Joel Classen, co-owner of Northern Plains Drainage Systems, supervises a tile installation demonstration on his farm near Elm Creek, Man.  |  Robert Arnason photo

Drainage with a difference; irrigation included

Retention pond stores water | Stored water could be used for irrigation and keeps nutrients out of rivers and lakes

ELM CREEK, Man. — As he walked into his soybean field, Carl Classen couldn’t help but shake his head. The soil was dry and cracked and the beans desperately needed moisture in the second week of August. The scene made Classen think about last fall, when he decided not to install irrigation on his farm. […] Read more