ISU Extension offers Iowa Drainage School

ISU Extension offers Iowa Drainage School

A 3-day program offers resources to help you plan and layout subsurface drainage systems.

Agricultural drainage is an important management tool for crop production in many areas of Iowa. The design, installation and maintenance of drainage systems is the focus of the Iowa Drainage School to be held Aug. 23-27 at the Borlaug Learning Center on the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua, Iowa.

FARMLAND DRAINAGE: Greg Brenneman, ISU Extension agricultural engineer (center) works with farmers and others attending a past Iowa Ag Drainage School. Here they are learning about surveying as they are conducting a field drainage survey exercise.

“The Iowa Drainage School provides educational opportunities for all interested in drainage whether they be contractors, farmers, consulting engineers, county officials, and others,” says Matt Helmers, ag engineer with Iowa State University Extension. “The school focuses on the fundamentals of drainage design including getting an accurate survey, drainage pipe size and spacing, controlled drainage and water table management, legal considerations and different installation techniques and equipment.”

 Learn to survey and design a drainage system for the farm
The three-day school features­­ classroom lecture and discussion combined with team problem solving and field exercises. Student teams will survey and design a drainage system for a sample area of the host farm, utilizing concepts learned during classroom discussion. By attending this school, participants will be able to plan and layout subsurface drainage systems and work out project costs. There will also be in-field equipment and installation demonstrations.

Agricultural water management includes both surface and subsurface drainage. It involves variety of soil and water conservation strategies. 

For discount rate, register before midnight August 10
Registration for this three-day school is $350 per person if registered by midnight, Aug. 10. Late registration is $400 and must be received by midnight, Aug 17. Class size is limited to 40 participants and preregistration is required. Registration includes meals indicated on the agenda, refreshments, course notebook and drainage reference materials.

The workshop site, located at 3327 290th St, Nashua, Iowa, can be found by taking exit 220 off Hwy. 218 and proceeding 1.2 miles west on B-60/280th Street. Go one mile south on Windfall Ave, then 0.2 miles east on 290th Street. The farm is on the north side of the road. Additional program information and online registration are available at

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