Clean Rivers, Clean Lake 8 -- Nutrients Discharging from Drain Tiles -- Eric Cooley

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  • Farm C has an estimated basin size which may change with fluctuating water table. The tile numbers for farm C are rough estimates and should not be used for published information.
  • Farm C has an estimated basin size which may change with fluctuating water table. The tile numbers for farm C are rough estimates and should not be used for published information.
  • Farm C has an estimated basin size which may change with fluctuating water table. The tile numbers for farm C are rough estimates and should not be used for published information.

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  • 1. Nutrients Discharging from Tile Drains in Eastern Wisconsin Eric Cooley Research Coordinator UW Discovery Farms
  • 2. What Are Discovery Farms?The Discovery FarmsProgram will developon-farm and relatedresearch to determinethe economic andenvironmental effectsof Best ManagementPractices on a diversegroup of Wisconsinfarms;
  • 3. Discovery Farms Tile ResearchA - Kewaunee County Two tile line sites (2004 – 2009)B - Manitowoc County Two tile line sites (2004 – 2007, 2007 – 2011)C - Waukesha County Two tile line sites (2004 – 2009)
  • 4. Tile line water monitoring
  • 5. Tile line water monitoring
  • 6. Tile monitoring equipment
  • 7. Surface and Tile Runoff Under Snowmelt Conditions Surface Water and Tile Runoff Snowmelt 2005 3.5 70 Surface-Water Flow Air Temperature, DegreesDischarge, cubic feet per 3.0 Tile Flow 60 2.5 Air Temperature 50 second 2.0 40 F 1.5 30 1.0 20 0.5 10 0.0 0 3/25/05 3/26/05 3/27/05 3/28/05 3/29/05 3/30/05 3/31/05 4/1/05  Tile flow began before surface flow  Relative volumes of water flowing in surface and tile were similar for this snowmelt period
  • 8. Tile flow periods
  • 9. Efficiency of tile water removal
  • 10. Water Budget Percentage of total precipitation leaving the landscape as surface water Farm A Farm B Farm CSurface runoff 10% 6% 9% Tile flow 24% 16% 16%
  • 11. Surface & tile sediment loss
  • 12. Surface & tile phosphorus loss
  • 13. Surface & tile nitrogen loss
  • 14. Surface & tile loss timing Sediment Surface Tile Frozen Non-frozen Frozen Non-frozenFarm A 16% 84% 34% 66%Farm B 34% 66% 22% 78%Farm C 3% 97% 37% 63% Total Phosphorus Surface Tile Frozen Non-frozen Frozen Non-frozenFarm A 37% 63% 52% 48%Farm B 36% 64% 41% 59%Farm C 21% 79% 33% 67% Total Nitrogen Surface Tile Frozen Non-frozen Frozen Non-frozenFarm A 57% 43% 52% 48%Farm B 42% 58% 46% 54%Farm C 16% 84% 24% 76%
  • 15. Nutrient loss timing and speciation Phosphorus Speciation Surface Tile Particulate Dissolved Particulate DissolvedFarm A 73% 27% 46% 54%Farm B 13% 87% 54% 46%Farm C 18% 82% 23% 77% Nitrogen Speciation Surface Tile Nitrate Ammonium Organic Nitrate Ammonium OrganicFarm A 45% 18% 37% 93% 2% 5%Farm B 20% 38% 41% 50% 18% 32%Farm C 22% 17% 61% 94% 1% 5%
  • 16. Environmental Risks of Tiles - Macropores -Preferential flow 0-  Earthworm burrows 1-  Root channels 2-  Shrinkage cracks Dyed Dyed Burrows Burrow 3-  Structural porosity Credit: John Panuska
  • 17. Soil drying and crack formation
  • 18. Factors Influencing ManureContamination of Tile Lines Consistency of manure:  0-2% solids: high risk  2-5% solids: moderate risk  > 5% solids: low risk Application rate Tillage / manure incorporation Soil moisture content / tiles flowing Frozen soils
  • 19. Take home points Tile drains can flow up to 365 days a year, even during frozen ground conditions Tile drainage can deliver the majority of water and total nitrogen leaving agricultural fields and can also deliver significant sediment and phosphorus Good manure and fertilizer management is critical to reduce the loss of nutrients in tile drained landscapes
  • 20. www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org