Government of Canada supporting the development of new tool for farmers to promote tile drainage

Top Crop Manager
February 16, 2018
By Top Crop Manager
Farmers help drive economic growth in Canada, but they can also face risks that threaten the viability of their farms, such as unpredictable weather.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with the sector to explore and develop new risk management tools that meet the needs of Canadian farmers when faced with serious challenges beyond their control.

Member of Parliament for London North Centre, Peter Fragiskatos, speaking on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, at the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) annual general meeting, announced a federal investment of more than $340,000 to OSCIA for the development of a tool that farmers can use to make more precise decisions on the economic benefits of their individual farm.

The tool will use satellite data of field crops during different weather and soil events and demonstrate the potential benefits of managing water flow from fields using tile drainage.

"On farm fields with shallow slopes, scientists have confirmed that in a drought year, holding the water back by restricting the outflow with valves at the end of tile drains, corn yield can be increased by as much as 25%. Our analysis has confirmed that the economic payback from adoption of controlled tile drainage benefits can range from $18-$48 per hectare per year. In addition, Nitrate-N and Phosphorus output from tiles can also be reduced, calculated to be worth over $25 per ha in nutrient savings, certainly a win for improved water quality as well," said Mark Emiry, president of OSCIA.

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