Field day features farm drainage from design and installation to nutrient management

Whether too much or too little, water management is a defining input for agriculture, see and learn about sub surface drainage.

If you hear the earth rumble Aug. 1 or 2, it’s not a tsunami, but rather the Farm Drainage and Nutrient Management Field Day sponsored by the Michigan Land Improvement Contractors and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. A half dozen tile drainage contracts will be doing in-field demonstrations of sub-surface tile drainage installations. Complementing the event will also be companies that can visit about land shaping and drainage design, sub irrigation and GPS guided installations. Equipment dealers from farm machinery to excavators and companies from seed to agricultural service providers will be available in the exhibit area. The event is in South East Michigan, Hillsdale County, just 2 miles west of Jonesville on US 12.

Although a difficult year to talk about drainage when the local area is in the middle of a drought, it does remind us of how critical water is to agriculture, whether it is too little or too much. Farmers need to be able to manage risks for the full range of weather patterns.

Along with drainage, the field day will feature topics on nutrient management, one of the largest input costs to crop production. This event will demonstrate how to customize management systems on your farm to avoid manure and or nutrients reaching subsurface drain tiles. Advances in water control devices and bio-reactors will be on display and in use at this field day. Cover crops and manure calibration will be discussed with regard to recycling plant nutrients.

You’ll see tillage equipment to manage soil residue and break soil pores that combine technology with management to achieve high yields and protect soil and water quality. Salford, Landoll, John Deere and Kuhn-Krause will all be there with vertical and conservation tillage machines.

“This event is to help farmers, custom applicators, consultants and anyone else learn more about the dynamic system but most importantly, to find ideas that will work on their farm, under their system,” states Natalie Rector, MSU Extension educator. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits will be available for CCA’s that attend.

Farmers, industry and university specialists from five states will be guest speakers at the various field day demonstrations. The events will take place on the field of Bruce and Jennifer Lewis, located two miles west of Jonesville, Mich. on US 12. To Google directions use the address: 5211 W. Chicago Road/US12, Jonesville, Mich. The same events will happen both days and run continuously from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a short break over the lunch hour. Admission and parking is free. More detailed times and events can be found at the Michigan Land Improvement Contractors of America website. For more information contact Natalie Rector.

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