Drainage water management is the practice of using a water control structure in the main, submain, (or sometimes lateral) drain to raise the drainage outlet to various depths. This allows farmers to have more control over drainage (source: Purdue University).
Conservation drainage practices help balance water flow and nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, for optimal crop production while minimizing runoff to help keep the environment safe. Excess phosphorous runoff in freshwater bodies can lead to algal blooms, which produce toxins that affect overall water quality (source: MSU AgBioResearch).
John McMaine develops and shares water management tools to better equip agricultural stakeholders with user-friendly practices to address challenges related to water quality and quantity. A key element of his role is translating research products into a public good and using stakeholder feedback to better inform research direction.
Anthony Bly works at the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, South Dakota State University (SDSU). Anthony’s position is a Soils Field Specialist but is involved with many applied research projects including the nutrient requirements of major agronomic crops and cover crop nutrient cycling in South Dakota.