By managing the timing and amount of water discharged by agricultural drainage systems, drainage water management has the potential to improve water quality, soil health, and farm sustainability. Implementation of drainage water management in Southern Minnesota has been limited due to unfamiliarity with the practice, concerns with cost, and lack of information on farm and societal benefits. In order to increase adoption of this practice, demonstration, education, and outreach with local data is key. This project titled, Drainage Water Management Demonstration and Evaluation in Southern Minnesota, will provide the local data, demonstration, and educational field days, events, and technical materials to bolster farmer engagement, knowledge of tile contractors, and adoption of drainage water management on more fields. 

The goal of this project is to increase adoption of drainage water management in Southern Minnesota by focusing on demonstration, education, and outreach to farmers, agricultural contractors, and conservationists on this specific best management practice. Drainage water management sites will be demonstrated and evaluated alongside conventional drainage practices. This will allow a better understanding of the water quality, economic, and soil health advantages of drainage water management, increasing the adoption of the best management practice.

This drainage water management project started in the Fall of 2022 and is led by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center along with partners from the Discovery Farms Minnesota program, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and Farmamerica. Economic, water quality and soil health will be analyzed on 2 conventionally drained plots and 2 plots with drainage water management at this farm.  

Video Introduction to the Drainage Water Management Project

Tile map of the Drainage Water Management project at Farmamerica