Nearly 10 miles later, we pulled the pin!

Nearly 10 miles later, we pulled the pin!

Do-it-yourself drainage projects have nice return on investment

It started a week ago Saturday. Overnight temperatures were in the middle teens. The frosted soils would support a tractor, so we decided we might as well make a go at it.

Being part-timers, we have to work on our DIY farm drainage projects when we have a chance.

Agriculture is a series of sprints, this was no different. Once we started, we were focused and continued with limited interruptions until we were flat worn out eight working days later. After 17 coils, that day happened to be Tuesday. Productivity had dropped. We felt as though we "stole" a couple of days this week as we only had a little rain in the early morning on Wednesday. It was a good time to call it quits.

Do-it-yourself drainage projects have nice return on investment.

We always have a list of farms and areas that are in need of drainage improvements. It had been December of 2012 since we had been able to get serious about plowing in some tile. We accomplished quite a bit. We did a couple of patchwork jobs on two farms and system drained about 65 acres on parts of three other farms.

Related: Installing drainage tile puts farmer in field faster

In doing so we were able to burn through tile we had inventoried more than a year ago in anticipation of work in the fall of 2013 or spring of 2014.

By doing the work ourselves, we more than paid for the tile plow.... again. There is still one high priority farm on the list. However with manure being hauled in and seed delivered, now is the time to make sure everything else is ready to go. We may come back to it later in spring if possible.

Doing drainage work ourselves more than paid for the cost of the tile plow.

I'll be honest, the ground only really became fit to do much on the last few days. We were fortunate to have direct outlets to surface ditches for many of the runs. If it had been necessary to make connections in the field, it would have been quite messy and frustrating.

Related: Water control structure should curb farm nutrient loss

The upside of wet soils is that the tiles were discharging water by the time we got the next string ready to go. We knew everything was on grade and working!

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