ISU Extension Offers Ag Drainage School

June 21, 2010
ICM News

By Brent Pringnitz, Department of Agronomy and Matt Helmers, Department of Ag and Biosystems Engineering

Agricultural drainage is becoming increasingly important due to the critical role it plays for Iowa's emerging bio-economy. Drainage systems that are properly designed and operating are essential to achieving excellent agricultural production capability.

The Iowa Drainage School is being offered to address these issues on July 27-29 at the Borlaug Learning Center on the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua, Iowa.

"People looking to install a new drainage system or retrofit an existing system will want to attend this school," said Matt Helmers, ISU Extension agricultural engineer. "The workshop will focus on drainage design, economics of drainage, water management and legal issues related to drainage."

The intent of the Iowa Drainage School is to provide training about
• agricultural drainage concepts
• planning and laying out drainage systems including surveying a profile
• calculating tile line sizes and spacing using actual field data
• making connections and setting up drainage control structures
• NRCS and IDDA regulatory considerations
• fixing common drainage system issues

Drainage contractors, landowners, professional engineers and consultants, NRCS professionals, county administrators and others who are involved in making drainage design decisions within their respective businesses and organizations are invited to attend.

This is a three-day school with each day including a combination of hands-on training, lecture and discussion, and problem solving using examples. By attending this school, participants will be able to plan and layout subsurface drainage systems and work out project costs.

Registration fees for this three-day school are $300 per person if registered by midnight, July 16. Late registration is $350 and must be received by July 23. Class size is limited to 40 participants and pre-registration is required. Registration fees include meals indicated on the agenda, refreshments and handouts.

Additional information, a detailed agenda and registration are available online.

Brent Pringnitz is program specialist in the Agronomy Department. He can be reached at 515/294-9487 or by email at Matt Helmers is a program specialist in Ag and Biosystems Engineering. He can be reached at  515-294-6717 or by email at


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on June 21, 2010. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.


Matthew Helmers Dean's Professor in the College of Ag and Life Sciences

Dr. Matt Helmers is the dean’s professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, where he has been on the faculty since 2003. He earned his doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Linc...