Completed Project Report


Mitigating Production and Environmental Risks through Best Management of Subsurface Tile

  • Award Amount: $40,104
  • Regional Center: Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center
  • Grant Program: 2017 Education Projects
  • Project Director: Heather Darby
  • Email: heather.darby@uvm.edu
  • Organization: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College

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Project Overview

Since the late 1800s, farmers have used subsurface tile drainage to produce high yielding crops on marginal soils. Many farmers consider tile drainage as the most important risk management tool available to them and this view has become even stronger as farms experience erratic weather.

Climate models indicate that the Northeast will experience excessively long, wet periods. Over the past 50 years, the amount of precipitation falling as heavy events has increased disproportionately in the Northeast compared to other U.S. regions. This has spurred a rapid increase in tile drainage installation. However, research has indicated potential negative impacts of tile drainage on water quality. Therefore, the project’s goal is to help farmers implement best management practices to successfully install tile drainage and manage fields to reduce the potential environmental risks.

Through this project educational events (conferences, field days, and webinars) and materials (factsheets and survey) were developed and delivered to 906 stakeholders. As a result of these efforts,  95% of the participants that responded to post event surveys indicated increased knowledge about best management practices of tile-drained fields; and 79 farmers adopted or improved at least one practice to reduce environmental risks related to subsurface tile drainage use.

Number of Participants: 906

Results

Project Steps

PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

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EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

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REPORTS & EVALUATIONS

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DELIVERY AREA

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