Sunday, June 11, 2017

drainage

     An inch and a half in less than twenty minutes this morning, accompanied by a high wind, which makes me think the actual rainfall may be somewhat higher.  I walked out when things had quieted a bit to see the damage.  The neighbor's field to the east which hosts the thirty acres of the eighty acre lake bed that is not part of our sixty acre pasture and which was all planted in row crops featured standing water, sort of a ten thousand lakes aspect.  I walked across our grass cutting across two recently grazed paddocks plus the one the cattle were in and had no trouble.  In fact, I found no mud.  The grass sward had sucked that fast rain up instantly.  There was no run off on our side of the lakebed.  None.  The neighbor's water will run somewhere and since we have the low point on the eighty acres, that somewhere will be our grass, if the drainage tile cannot take it up fast enough.

     We have fought this situation for years.  Now, with a grazing practice well established there, we have made a bit of money on that fertile but poorly drained area these past ten years, for the first time in my memory.  We still must manage it carefully, now with the cattle, rather than tractors, while we hope for the best with the neighbor's water.  My question would be about why there is no serious encouragement of any form of agriculture that uses perennial plants, since they obviously have such a wonderful ability to moderate our thunderstorm weather in terms of runoff, erosion, downstream flooding and so on.  There has been nothing of note for my forty years of farming.   I don't expect to live to see any.  That is not the way we do things here in the USA.  We wait until it's a disaster, then come with a little bit of half hearted charity and blame the whole situation on God.    

2 comments:

  1. Rain is always fun but it can be really inconvenient if there is not proper drainage mechanism in place. The best thing to do is to always be preemptive and proactive rather than waiting for a disaster to strike.

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