Plowing In Tile Line

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At a farm in Clark County, Corey Goodhue with Goodhue Tiling is plowing the ground, "We're putting in some drainage pipe around some grass waterways trying to slow some erosion lowering the water table around them."

Corey Goodhue and his brother are using a dry window to put in tile lines. The Goodhue's are Polk County farmers, but started this up as a side business.

Getting tile line in takes a lot of power, they need to pull thousands of pounds all day long.

Goodhue says, "So the machine behind us is an inter-drain 2050 so it's a tile plow, drainage plow made in Holland. It's purpose built. Then we have a CAT excavator and a tractor with a bunch of different drainage carts on it."

They take the CAT and dig to find existing tile line, cut that, and add an attachment of another pipe to it.

The inter-drain cuts through the ground like a knife through butter, feeding tube that another tractor hauls up the hill.

Every second, two feet of tile line goes in, Goodhue expects it to be within an inch or less of exactly how deep he wants it. If it's down too far, it won't catch the water. If it's up too high, farm equipment could hit it.

Putting in tile is a great way to stop flooding and erosion according to Goodhue, "Well you see how the ground around me has a lot of elevation change? As the ground elevation changes, the water saturates the soil and creates hydraulic pressure. As you get enough hydraulic pressure at a certain point it comes out of the ground as surface water and creates muddy areas as that saturated, muddy soil is really easy to move then in a bad rain event. So keeping that water table down is a big part of stopping that erosion."

Farmers can significantly bump their yields by having good movement of water, "Year after year they find there's a 25 bushel per acre increase in Iowa state average in corn, maybe seven bushel per acre increase in beans."

Goodhue says being responsible with the tile line is also important.

He's keeping a close watch on what leaves his field, "And we do a lot of research with our coop Agriland, on how much nitrate's in the soil before we start, and when the crop has come out, and this year they've come out with a tile watch program so we can study while the crop's in the study and out of the ground. How much nitrate we're losing through out tile lines to help us really dial in our fertility program. At the end of the day, no farmer wants to see nitrate out their tile line. Everybody spent a lot of money on that nitrogen."

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