Workshop Helps Farmers Keep Fields Dry
MANKATO, MN - Farmers have seen lots of rain this season. Draining off that excess water is a priority.
"We need to increase production and increase tile capacity to handle some of these larger rains we've had recently. At the same time, we have to protect the environment." said Chuck Brandel, vice president for ISG, a firm that specializes in architecture, engineering, and environmental projects.
ISG hosted a workshop called 'Agricultural Drainage & the Future of Water Quality' at the Verizon Center in Downtown Mankato.
Engineers, farmers, and conservationists gathered to discuss the best practices for draining excess water from fields, as well as maintaining soil quality and keeping chemicals out of our water supply.
"So we look at how can we provide storage, creating ponds, creating wetlands, bioreactors and other BMPs that can help treat water or temporarily store it." Brandel mentioned.
Some of the methods that were discussed have seen lots of success.
Michele Stindtman, of Faribault County Soil Conservation, said: "They've put a lot of cover crops in place, they do some no tills, some strip tills, some different conservation practices, and with all this rain, I've been noticing that their fields are a lot drier."
One of the goals of the workshop is to increase cooperation.
"We really try to get farmers and those who work in drainage, together and to talk about the issues." Brandel added.