Farm Practices – Drainage
In some parts of British Columbia, high levels of precipitation and seasonal runoff can cause saturation of agricultural soils. Most agricultural crops are adversely affected by ponded water on the soil surface and/or prolonged soil saturation in the root zone. Chronic flooding limits the range of crops that can be grown on certain parcels of land, reduces crop yields and in some cases causes disease. Good drainage allows farmers a wider selection of crops and a longer growing season, resulting in land that is more productive and crops that are more profitable and easier to market.
Proper drainage can be achieved by using a combination of surface and subsurface drainage techniques.
Drainage is defined as the practice of providing channels such as open ditches to remove excess water from the surface of the land. Drain tile is defined as subsurface pipe that is used to remove excess water from the soil profile. Subsurface drainage can also be used to control erosion and salinity.