Thursday, December 6, 2012
Sam Shepard and his crew are installing drainage tile for us on the Waldo farm. We have been concerned about the soil’s wetness for several years, but could not figure out how to get it drained. This particular field had a low place in it where water collects after a significant rain event, and in that location, the soil surface is the same elevation as the bottom of the nearest ditch. So, it is not possible to drain the field into that adjacent roadside ditch. In order to get to a deep enough stream to allow a new tile system to perform properly, we had to extend the trunk line of tile about 1000 feet across a neighbor’s adjoining field. We are grateful he gave us that permission.
It is quite interesting to see the trenching machine place the perforated tubing into the soil. It is guided by reading a laser beam…. that makes for certain that the tile will be ‘on grade’ accurately, and that the water will flow away to the tile’s outlet. We anticipate a significant increase in this field’s productivity in the future, for the crops there should never again experience ‘wet feet’.
This field has about 32 acres, and is a long triangle shape. The longest runs of tile are in excess of 2100 feet, and the runs are placed 50 feet apart. The lines will get significantly shorter and shorter with each run. The tile tubing in each run is 5 inches in diameter, and each one connects to an 8-inch diameter main trunk line that takes the excess soil water from all the branches of the system across a neighbor’s field and to a stream. It all flows by gravity. The depth of the tile lines run from 2.5 to 7 feet, depending on the surface elevation. But from the point most distant from the outlet, the tile all runs downhill, on about 0.5% slope.