Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015KY244B

Controlled drainage in western Kentucky: Mitigating water stress and reducing nutrient loss to surface waters in grain crop production

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $4,992 Total Non-Federal Funds: $11,049

Principal Investigators: Carrie Knott, Ole Wendroth

Abstract: Artificial drainage of agricultural lands is used to remove excess water in slow to drain soil types. This drainage is accomplished by the installation of corrugated drain tile in the field, which allows the free flow of water out of the production area and reduces the water table. A current and future challenge is to find a way to maintain or even increase yields in these systems while managing nutrient input and timing in a more precise and environmentally sensitive manner. Controlled tile drainage, in which the water table can be held at a desired level at a desired time, may present such an opportunity. This project seeks to quantify the differences between uncontrolled and controlled tile drainage regimens, in regard to nutrient loss and yield, in artificially drained western Kentucky cropland.