Water from Drainage Ditch Bolsters Crop When Rain Lags in July/August
Zimmerman, who farms northwest of Glyndon with his son, Ryan, has developed a subsurface irrigation system on four tile-drained fields as of 2015. While the primary purpose of tile drainage for the Zimmermans is similar to that of other producers — i.e., to drain excess water off their fields — they use those same tile lines to also pump water back into these fields later in the season when the crop can use it due to drier soil moisture conditions.
The water is pumped out of a large nearby drainage ditch (with a permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) that eventually discharges into the Buffalo River. Sandbags placed into the ditch bottom (with permission from the local watershed board) form a static dam about 4.5 feet high. The dam is built in May and removed in October each year.
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