Ohio State's Overholt Drainage School set for late March

Ohio State University’s Overholt Drainage School, March 21-25 in Northwest Ohio, will feature the latest developments in soil and water management.

The comprehensive training program provides continuing education for farmers, land improvement contractors, soil and water conservation technicians, engineers, consultants, sanitarians and others interested in learning more about the purpose, design, layout, construction and management of soil and water conservation systems.

It will be held at the Fulton County Junior Fair Building, 8514 State Rt. 108,Wauseon — not far from the Michigan and Indiana borders.

“The emphasis for the school is proper drainage on existing cropland, with a focus on balancing food production, economic and environmental goals,” said Larry Brown, a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE). “Improved drainage is quite beneficial on Ohio’s poorly drained soils for increased and sustained crop yields. And with improved corn and soybean prices the past four years, the potential for yield increases to cover the costs of new or improved subsurface drainage is much greater than in the past.”

Brown pointed out that proper subsurface drainage can lead to a 27- to 37-percent yield increase for rotation corn, based on 25 years of plot data from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Hoytville, Ohio.

Drainage School instructors include land-grant university experts; engineers and technicians with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD); engineers and scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS); and experienced Ohio Land Improvement Contractors of America (OLICA) contractors and associates.

This year’s program is divided into three sessions, each with different early registration costs:

* “Laser Surveying, Topographic Mapping and GPS Mapping,” March 21-22, $300

* “Agricultural Subsurface Drainage Design, Drainage Installation,” March 22-24, $500

* “Drainage Water Management: Controlled Subsurface Drainage Design and Installation,” March 25, $150.

The fee for attending the entire Drainage School is $600.

The early registration deadline is March 11. To register, fill out the form available at http://go.osu.edu/CHE and mail with the appropriate payment type to the address indicated on the form. Confirmations, directions and hotel lists will be mailed upon receipt of registration and payment.

After March 11, registration fees go up to $675 for the full program, $350 for Session 1, $600 for Session 2 and $200 for Session 3.

Registration fees include tuition, conference materials, refreshments, lunch and a certificate of completion. Participants should bring a calculator, warm clothes and boots for the field. A complete program schedule can be downloaded at http://go.osu.edu/CKG

For more information contact Brown at 614-292-3826 or e-mail brown.59@osu.edu

The event is sponsored by the Overholt Drainage Education and Research Program, Ohio State (FABE, OSU Extension and OARDC), USDA-NRCS, USDA-ARS, SWCDs, and OLICA.

FABE, OSU Extension and OARDC are part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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