By Gary Sliworsky
Ag rep, Emo
Subsurface, or tile, drainage is an aid to agricultural production, as well as a very important soil and water conservation practice.
In essence, it is a technique for controlling the water table by means of drainage pipe installed at a certain depth in the ground.
The depth and spacing of field drains depends on the rainfall, kind of soil, desired rate of water removal, and the depth of the outlet.
The layout pattern of the system depends largely on the surface topography–the objective is to achieve uniformity of drainage.
Tile drainage helps farmers maintain a uniform, sustainable level of production because the crops are less susceptible to annual variations in climate and precipitation.
Tiling often increases yields, but the main benefit is the opportunity to improve farm management and efficiency.
Fields can be worked and planted earlier, and they have a more uniform structural stability and degree of wetness.
It used to be that individual clay tiles were used, but corrugated plastic drainage tubing started being used in 1968. Today, well over 90 percent of all drainage material is plastic.
A number of farmers in the district have expressed an interest in doing some tile drainage work. A contractor has been contacted and has committed to coming to the district this summer.
If you are interested in putting in some tile drainage and you farm in Rainy River District, contact the Emo OMAFRA office at 482-1921. It would be helpful if you had an estimate of how many acres you are thinking of tiling.
The contractor also has advised that the supply of tile drainage pipe is very tight right now, and it requires about 60 days’ notice to have pipe available.
If you think you are interested, the contractor would need to know within about the next six weeks.
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Many early calves already have arrived this year. It requires less guesswork to keep calf records from the beginning of the season.
Birthdates show the length of a calving period. It will indicate whether most calves are born within a 60-day, 90-day, or longer period.
A uniform group of calves is more attractive at sale time.
Calves are age-verified in an effort to add value at market time. This is a tool used to meet beef export requirements on age at slaughter.
It is more accurate when records are kept from the start.
Dates to remember
•March 19-21—Large animal clinic dates for Dr. Blair Simonson (call 274-7393 to book an appointment); and
•March 24–Emo and District Lions Club “Farmers Night,” 5:30 p.m., Barwick Hall (cost is $25/person).