Innovative drainage ditch design featured at FSR

A new, innovative drainage ditch design that includes self-forming channels that can be used by farmers to address drainage needs essential for crop production, may also preserve important water resources, according to Farm Science Review organizers.

Farmers and producers can see the new ditch design at work during this year’s Farm Science Review along the west edge of the grounds, said Matt Sullivan, Farm Science Review assistant manager.

The self-forming channel demonstration area – a new feature of the Review this year – was completed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Soil and Water Resources during the summer months after receiving funding through a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sullivan said.

He said the Review is the ideal venue to showcase the innovative drainage ditch design.

“We’ve been working to improve the Farm Science Review’s water management plan year-round, so it seemed natural to partner with ODNR’s Division of Soil and Water Resources on this project,” Sullivan said. “Along with the drainage structures that the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association installs during the Review each year, the self-forming channel is a great asset to the grounds.”

An added benefit of the project, he said, is that it will increase awareness of the practice through education at a venue ideally suited to demonstrate the channel design, as well as foster interaction among producers, conservation professionals, local leaders and state and regional decision-makers.”

Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and its outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension, and its’ Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, are partners in the project.

Other project partners and collaborators include the Madison County Engineer’s Office, local Natural Resources Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation District offices, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Nancy’s Blankets, Sullivan said.

The ditch design is just one of many features participants can expect to see during the three-day farm trade show that annually draws more than 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada.

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