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The Benefits of Tile Drainage

  •           More consistent yields
  •           Allows for more efficient use of resources
  •           Reduces financial risk
  •           Earlier and more timely planting
  •           Improved harvesting conditions
  •           Less wear and tear on equipment
  •           Less power required for field operations
  •           Better plant stand
  •           Less plant stress
  •           Fewer plant diseases
  •           Less soil compaction


In addition to these benefits above, an investment in tile drainage is that the value of the land increases. 

An article written by Don Hofstrand from the ISU extension office, about tile drainage (link here) discusses the economics of tile drainage on the farm.  Mr. Hofstrand covers quite a bit in the article from the pure economics (rate of return, payback period, etc) to types of soil, system layout, investment strategies, and even how to get started.

Like most land based investments, tiling is a long-term investment and must be considered over many years in which the land is producing crops.

 Tiling Is Also Good For Drought Conditions

An interesting article from the Cedar Rapids Gazette highlighted the value of a properly drained field even during a drought.

The article can be found here . Highlights below:

  • As strange as it may seem, farm fields with the best tile drainage systems generally produced the highest yields during past year’s drought, area farmers and other experts say.

  • Iowa State University Extension field agronomists reported “while it may seem counterproductive to drain subsoil water away from plants in a drought year, tiling removes only excess water. It does not reduce the amount of plant-available water”

  • Thorough tiling of formerly undrained land can increase corn yields as much as 50 bushels per acre.