Waterlogging and Drainage
Drainage is one of the most common topics we get asked to do work on here at SFS. It can be a tricky topic to cover, because it’s pretty hard to run drainage solutions on a 20m2 plot as you can imagine! However, last year we were fortunate in securing funding from the GRDC to look at ways in which we can mitigate waterlogging in paddocks and also look at the impact drainage systems have on managing wet paddocks.
So far in the project we have sown some spring trials, including canola, barley, chickpeas and peas. These have been progressing really well, and we are excited to see the results of these trials. We have also had some recovery trials in canola and wheat, both of which returned interesting results which will be available shortly.
A major part of the project is looking at case studies on farmer’s who have implemented drainage on their properties and some of the contractors who do the work. A 3-5 minute video will be filmed about each farmer and their experiences with drainage on their farm. These case studies will allow for other farmer’s and stakeholders to take a look at how drainage work is actually undertaken, from the mapping to putting the drains in. It’ll also allow people to get an insight into how different farm’s manage their drainage and waterlogging issues.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to speak to Andrew Caldow who runs his own drainage work business in the Western District. Andrew does the whole drainage process from start to finish, which includes mapping, client consultations and using his own equipment to level paddocks. Using an earthmoving grade tractor and a laser levelling bucket, Andrew will manipulate the soil in order to reduce the risk of waterlogging and help direct water into drains.
Drainage can be a daunting topic for many and it can also be hard to find resources. Combined with the case studies, SFS will also be doing a drainage field day. Aiming for early March (a date will shortly be coming, there are a lot of events to fit in at this time of year!) there will be several hours in which farmers and other interested parties are invited to come along and take a look at the machinery used, as well as hearing about farmer’s experiences and other industry professional about how you can think about implementing drainage at your farm. Keep an eye out on our SFS communications for save the date and further information!
Photo Below: Spring Sown Barley at the Streatham Site December 2021.