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  • George Sly

    February 8, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you John. Our existing (40-50 year old) drains are deep, 42-50″ deep. I have this winter found one silty area where the soil is wet to 10″ and drier underneath. Thus telling me that not in all cases is the drain going to work.

    The more i watch our soil and the extreme weather i realise… (as i dont need to tell you…) that bare soil with a high silt content has one big enemy. RAIN. you can watch the silt with worm castings and roots run together very quickly if the rain lands on the surface and it starts to form a compacted sealed layer. In a field with a cover crop the fact the leaves take the impact and then the water percolates down does help quite a bit.

    Im trying my best to maintain a constant cover, but 2 extreme weather years have taken our farm back a long way. Our current drain tiles (plastic or clay) are 60 feet apart 42-50″ down, 3″ pipe, in some places 4″. They are mostly all running with water, but that system doesnt seem to be anywhere near able to cop with events like we had last October and June 2019 where we get 4-5″ in 12-19 hours. It seems just the same with what you have seen. My father is 78 and never remembers having so much rain in such a short time completely overwhelmins the soil and drainage systems. I really dont know how to help with the surface compaction causing flooded fields.. because when that happens its not the time to put a low disturbance tine to lift or fracture as its too wet) the key must be to maintain a constant cover so the roots provide pathways through the silt.

    I think my best bet is to buy a plow from the USA, go with 3″ plastic tile and run that at a target 30-36″ depth every 20 feet or less. My Dad is 78, im 35 and my son is 2. So the investment will benefit me and my son i hope.

    Thank you for your information, greatly appreciated as always.