skip to Main Content

Drainage Control to Promote High Crop Yields and Diminish Nutrient Losses from Agricultural Fields in Minnesota

Start Date: 2008
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Strock
Organization: University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center
Status: Complete

Background Info

Agricultural drainage can help reduce year-to-year variability in crop yield, and thus the risks associated with the production of abundant, high-quality, affordable food. Farmers in the Minnesota River Basin, however, grow crops on nearly 4 million acres of poorly drained soils. Making matters worse, with much of the agricultural land containing drainage tile that runs adjacent to lakes and streams, areas that are environmentally sensitive and ecologically important, the runoff can degrade water quality in the Minnesota River and many of its tributaries.


Better understand and quantify the yield, drainage discharge and nitrogen and phosphorus losses from conventional and controlled drainage practices. The results will be used to being to identify optimal drainage water management practices for Minnesota.

Develop educational programming and materials on drainage water management practices, and maintaining water quality for stakeholders

Key Findings

Agricultural practices must be designed and resources managed in a way that will allow for the production of abundant, high-quality, affordable food, while protecting water quality.

There is a clear need to develop methods that would allow the continued high agricultural productivity of poorly drained soils while reducing nitrogen losses to surface waters.

The state must provide educational programs and materials on drainage water management practices, and the economics of attaining and maintaining water quality.

Back To Top