Implementation of BMP protocols to manage irrigation and controlled drainage to conserve water and nutrients within agricultural lands

Tile drainage is becoming popular as a way to control excess moisture in the field to increase productivity. Yet, the economic return on investment (ROI) on installing tile drainage is not known in Manitoba. This research will allow us to assess the impact of water management through controlled drainage on yield. Detailed water table depth at different times will help us model water flow within the rootzone and its impact on crop yield. Data collected in this study will be used to calibrate computer models (HYDRUS, DrainMOD) for different locations so that weather data from different years could be modeled to assess the long-term impact of tile drainage. Excess moisture is a big constraint in crop production in Manitoba. At the same time, during a dry summer it is important to conserve the limited precipitation within the field. Since fields with controlled drainage were chosen and instrumented to provide real-time data for decision making it will be possible to utilize limited water for maximizing yield during a dry season. The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) reported that between 1996 and 2014, approximately 40% of crop losses were the result of excess moisture.

Ishmeet Kaur
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ramanathan Sri Ranjan
Partner University: