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Jul 16

Summer Seminars

Posted on July 16, 2019 at 10:19 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/15/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • Hearing for JD17 landowners.  Landowners affected will receive official notification in the mail detailing the time and location of the hearing.                                                                      

Project Updates:


  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Nothing new this week, clean-up items will take place this fall after harvest.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Nothing to report this week. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Televising and other check-list items are still scheduled to happen in the next few weeks.    
  • JD51 Waseca (Danville Twp.)  Buffer seeding is all that remains for this cleaning project.                                                                                                                                                       

Busy Week:

Last week came and went like a flash.  New repairs have slowed down considerably since spring.  We still have a substantial list of repairs for this fall, plus any new repairs that may come our way.  This warm part of the year always seems to fly by.  Last week was no exception for drainage.

I was able to attend a drainage and water quality seminar in Willmar, MN last week.  It included a very good panel of speakers with a wide range of water quality and management topics.  I attended as many speakers as I could for my time allotted.  Two sessions really stick out in my memory.

The first session was about the development of a nitrate loss calculator.  A team lead by Dr. McMaine has been working on developing the tool to calculate nitrate loss or even potential loss from tile systems.  The team hopes the calculator turns into a simple to use and downloadable application for smart phones or tablets.  This seems like a simple idea, but with the potential for large returns including, improved water quality and growers saving money by managing the amount of nitrogen fertilizer used, among other possibilities.

The second seminar I really enjoyed was about organic matter and soil health.  This was really interesting to me, especially how some simple changes to tillage practices could have huge impacts to drainage, run-off and crop yields.  The session focused more around the impacts of conventional tillage and no-till or ridge tillage practices.  The studies have been and continue to be done by the University of Minnesota.  The no-till or minimum tillage practices had huge improvements to drainage issues, with improved water movement through the soil profile, improved organic matter in the soil profile, along similar or very similar yields when compared to conventional tillage methods.  The studies from the U of M actually show improved tile and drainage performance from minimum tillage or no-till situations.  These practices may reduce soil erosion, save fertilizer, increase soil organic matter, improve water filtration, and result in less crop loss due to flooding or ponding of surface water.

There were many other good sessions to attend, but I couldn’t fit them all into one day.  There are many great and innovative ideas coming forward to help improve our future of water quality.  It was a very good seminar and well worth the drive to Marshall.

I managed to escape and head up north for a quick three-day weekend.  Just a few photos of our adventure.           
miss 2  miss 1 
 miss 3
Just a few photos from Itasca State Park.  Start of the mighty Mississippi.                                                                                                                 

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 8 – July 12:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  To my knowledge we are still having issues with an active beaver or two that is causing issues with the open ditch portion of this system.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Things should be moving a little smoother this week.  Last week much of the time was spent on locating existing county tile. The alignment for the new pipe should be staked and new pipe going in the ground later this week.
  • JD51 Was. (Danville Twp.)  Toe drain is all installed. Reseeding some buffer areas is all that is left.  I did locate a small area of damages that was involved with the toe-drain installation.
  • CD76 (McPherson Twp.)  Hydro-jetting was a good success for the most part.  There was a fair amount of debris that was coming out of the old tile lines.  Televising after the jetting did lead us to more issues of dilapidated tile lines under one of our county roads.
  • CD36 (Butternut Twp.)  Areas of small sloughing going on along portions of the open ditch.  Look at cleaning later this year after harvest, nothing major or damaging at this point.
  • CD27 (Lincoln Twp.)  We have a contractor that is building a cleaning shelf along a portion of the open ditch on this system.  This cleaning shelf will help future cleanings, as this portion of open ditch is very deep and wide, and most other machines can’t reach.  The section of open ditch will be cleaned where necessary after the bench is installed.
  • JD85 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  As-Builts for our new ASI intakes should be about complete.  All of the new intakes should be seeded and no further construction until after harvest.  We will remove old intakes and reshape some dirt to make things flow to new structures.
  • CD57 (Mapleton Twp.)  I meet with a representative from the solar farm company to discuss issues with a fence encroachment.

We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist