Take home messages from masterclass on farm drainage planning

Participants at the farm drainage planning training set off to put theory into practice on Greg Gibson's farm at Carrick.

As part of the Water for Profit Program, TIA’s Dr Bill Cotching recently ran a two day masterclass on farm drainage planning. The session was specifically designed for consultants who deliver drainage plans to farmers.

Some of the key take-home messages were:

  • Four rules of drainage:
    • Design in the wet, install in the dry
    • Check the outfalls
    • Isolate and elevate
    • Drain in stages
  • Find the outfall – may have to check with neighbours
  • Use Google Earth images
  • Determine soil type as it is important for drain type
  • Catchment and paddock scale water
  • Where is the water coming from – use intercept drains
  • Placement of intercept drains ABOVE wet areas, particularly on sloping ground
  • Check for dispersive subsoils – mole drains may or may not be helpful
  • Integrate different drain types on one area
  • Underground drains really do work; pay back starts NOW
  • On-going maintenance/management of drains is required
  • Use land manager/owner input for local knowledge of where water ponds and flows
  • Understand the client’s needs and budget.

Published on: 11 Sep 2017