Field demonstrations will be part of the July 24 field day in Lima.

Drainage, water recycling, and soil health field day at OSU Lima Campus

By Vinayak Shedekar and Nic Baumer, The Ohio State University

Drainage installation, drainage water recycling, and soil health will be the focus of a field day being held on July 24 at the Ohio State University at Lima Campus.

The field day will take place at the Ohio State Lima regenerative agriculture farm (LRAF). The LRAF initiative started in 2020 and aims to provide research and educational opportunities focused on regenerative farming practices. The farm at Ohio State Lima is a learning laboratory for farmers to see how regenerative ag can work in the real world and how conservation practices can improve outcomes both on individual farms and collectively. 

Adequate drainage is a necessary step in the transformation of the farmland towards a regenerative farm. The team envisioned a project to implement farm drainage and associated conservation practices on about 120 acres in 4 years as part of a project funded by the OSU Sustainability Institute. The project provides unique opportunity to demonstrate quality construction and installation practices for farm drainage. The OSU team has partnered with the Ohio Chapter of the Land Improvement Contractors of America (OLICA) and their associate members.

The field day will also feature implementation and demonstration of conservation practices aimed towards water quality improvements and ecological protection. Experts will cover two main practices: (1) drainage water recycling (DWR), and (2) saturated buffers. The DWR system will feature a recently constructed 5M gal capacity water retention pond, that will collect runoff and drainage water from about 40-acres. The stored water can then be used later in the growing season for irrigating crops. Representatives from Valley Irrigation will also discuss a center pivot irrigation system. These practices have been implemented as part of the agricultural nutrient runoff treatments project [GL00E03280] funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through an assistance agreement with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Field demonstrations will be conducted by the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors of America in an open-house-style format throughout the day. The organizing team includes Ohio State Lima, Ohio State University Extension in Allen County, Soil and Water Conservation District, and Land Improvement Contractors of America — Ohio Chapter (OLICA). The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available on site. Prior event registration is required to be able to attend the event. The event and registration details will soon be available at www.go.osu.edu/limadrainageday.

For more details and/or sponsorship information, please reach out to Nic Baumer, Allen County Extension Educator (baumer.15@osu.edu) or Dr. Vinayak Shedekar, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Water Management.

This column is provided by The Ohio State University, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Ohio State University Extension, International Program for Water Management in Agriculture, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Vinayak Shedekar is the Assistant Professor of Agricultural Water Management and director of the Overholt Drainage Research and Education Program in the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and can be reached at shedekar.1@osu.edu

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