Agricultural Tile Drainage

Tile drainage plays an important role in Wisconsin’s agricultural systems.  Understanding the purpose of tile drainage, locating tile drainage systems and proper drain tile maintenance are key components to maintaining agricultural productivity and protecting water quality in Wisconsin.

A series of fact sheets titled “Tile Drainage in Wisconsin” have been developed with coordination between UW Discovery Farms, UW Extension and UW College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to inform farmers of the considerations of managing tile drained agricultural landscapes.  The three fact sheets in this series, “Understanding and Locating Tile Drainage Systems", “Maintaining Tile Drainage Systems”, and "Managing Tile-Drained Landscapes to Prevent Nutrient Loss", can be found below. "Tile Drainage in Wisconsin" offers an overview of all three fact sheets in one file. This series of fact sheets allows farmers to make more informed management decisions when working in tile drained landscapes.

Related Materials
5 Documents
Fixing Tile Blowouts: What You Need to Know
File (2 pages)
This document provides practical information on the (1) causes of tile blowouts, (2) keys to identifying blowouts, and (3) points to consider when fixing tile blowouts.

Maintaining Tile Drainage Systems
Factsheet (4 pages)
Provides information on inspecting and maintaining tile drainage systems and presents issues to consider when modifying existing tiles or installing new drains.

Tile Drainage in Wisconsin
File (8 pages)
An overview of all the fact sheets in one place. This document includes Information on understanding and locating tile drainage systems, maintaining drainage systems, and managing tile-drained landscapes to prevent nutrient loss.

Tile Drainage in Wisconsin: Managing Tile-Drained Landscapes to Prevent Nutrient Loss
Factsheet (8 pages)
Tile-drained agricultural land must be well-managed to reduce the loss of nutrients to surface waters. Nutrient management practices must be carefully followed to minimize the risk of nutrient loss and to maximize fertilizer use efficiency.

Understanding and Locating Tile Drainage Systems
Factsheet (4 pages)
Tile drainage systems thoughout Wisconsin and methods to locate the drains in the field.

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