SD drainage tile workshops address key issues


Drainage tiling is on the minds of many agriculture producers this year says Chris Hay, referencing the fact that 7,000 more landowners contacted the NRCS for wetland determination requests in 2011 than in 2010.

“Before tiling land enrolled in farm programs, a wetland determination has to be done,” said Hay, noting that weather patterns are responsible for increased interest in tiling. “Recent changes in precipitation have a lot to do with landowners considering drainage tiling.”

Hay says combine the long-term moisture trend with high commodity and land prices, as well as new technologies which make installing drainage tile much easier than in the past and it’s no surprise that more landowners are looking at tiling as an answer to their moisture issues.

Although technology makes tiling today an easier task, Hay says landowners still need to do their homework.

“A lot can go wrong if folks don’t consider the big picture of tiling before they dig,” Hay said. “For a drainage system to work properly the outlet needs to be properly sized, it needs to have the correct slope – too little and sediment will build up in the pipe, too much and they could have a blow out.”

In addition to technical issues, Hay adds that landowners need to be informed on the legal aspects of tiling. If the land is enrolled in a federal program, landowners need to contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service to have a certified wetland determination done before they begin. And, many counties have regulations governing drainage.

Workshops provide information & answer questions

Because there are so many aspects landowners need to consider before tiling, SDSU Extension is hosting five drainage design workshops throughout the region. Workshops will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the Best Western Ramkota; Feb. 2-3 in Sioux Falls, S.D, at the Best Western Ramkota; Feb. 21-22 in Wahpeton, N.D. at North Dakota State College of Science; Feb. 23-24 in Wahpeton, at North Dakota State College of Science; and Mar. 13-14 in Mankato, Minn., at the Best Western.

Topics covered during the workshop include; design fundamentals, design tools, layout considerations, pipe grades, pipe sizing, cut sheets, pump (lift) station design, managed (controlled), drainage design, soils data and tools for drainage design, yield mapping and drainage, wetland delineations, and legal considerations.

Participants need to register online by Jan. 27 for the Sioux Falls workshops.

To pre-register visit Registration fee is $225 prior to Jan. 23 for the Sioux Falls workshops and $300 if completed after Jan. 23. Registration includes course materials, lunch both days and refreshments. Registration fee does not include hotel room. For registration deadlines for other workshops, visit

Source: SDSU Extension