Water management featured at 2013 Farm Science Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Saturday, 10 August 2013 07:33
LONDON - Recent heavy rains in the Midwest stress the need for proper water management plans like that of the Farm Science Review's year-round effort to improve the water quality at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, which will be emphasized with the installation of 40 acres of drainage lines and structures during the 2013 Review by the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association. The review is Sept. 17-19.
Staff members have been collecting water samples on the grounds for the past six months, with a long-term goal of collecting samples year-round to determine the water quality throughout the entire farm, including the Deer Creek stream. Water quality is determined by the effectiveness of the drainage structures in place.
"The topic of drainage is really popular among farmers throughout the Midwest right now because it has the potential to be the biggest return on investment in their operations, and it can also increase their yields," said Matt Sullivan, Assistant Manager of the Farm Science Review. "That's why we showcase it at the Review year after year."
Three components comprise the Review's drainage water management plan: crop production, soil health and water quality. Each component is evaluated from the time seeds are planted and nutrients are applied on the fields to water leaving the grounds via the drainage system.
"Farmers want optimal drainage, but are they improving water quality at the same time?" asked Sullivan. "When both crop production and soil drainage are performing at optimal levels, then we can achieve a consistently higher water quality."
Sullivan said the Molly Caren Agricultural Center's water management plan serves as a model for drainage technology.
OLICA's demonstrations of the new drainage technologies at this year's Review will show attendees the installation process, how structures work and the opportunities that exist to improve water quality while potentially making crop production more profitable.
These demonstrations will take place daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the field demonstration area just north of I-70.
"OLICA has been a huge supporter of the Review, and it's a great opportunity for them to showcase different types of drainage technologies while also giving them the opportunity to see their customers and make new connections within the agriculture industry," said Sullivan. "It's a win-win for both of us."
Other partners of the Review's ongoing drainage project include OLICA's members, the USDA Research Service Drainage Unit and Trimble Navigation.
Advance tickets are available at any OSU Extension office, local agribusinesses or online for $7. Tickets will be sold at the gate for $10.
For more information on the Farm Science Review, visit fsr.osu.edu.
Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts more than 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.

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