With harvest out the way and the fields once again bare, lots of our customers are currently busy installing land drainage. Investing in your land in the current economic climate may seem like the wrong thing to do but ensuring your fields are well drained could make all the difference. Our customers have reported improvements of up to 40% in their crop yields due to land drainage.
Here are just a few reasons why you should not delay investing in land drainage any longer:
1. Banishes black-grass
Investing in land drainage can help improve your soil structure and banish black-grass for good. In order to tackle this tricky problem, it is important to improve and maintain good soil structure by ensuring your land is well drained. But don’t just take our word for it, at the Cereals event in 2016, 81%* of attendees agreed that good drainage would help their black grass issue.
2. Improves soil structure
Having well-drained soils is vital to the health of your crops and the yields you produce. We’re reminded time and time again by our customers what a difference it makes.
Here are just some of the benefits:
- Ensures good soil structure for root development and oxygen for organic material
- Extends the growing or grazing season
- Facilitates better access to land with machinery and reduced soil compaction
- Promotes more efficient use of tractors through improved traction, resulting in huge fuel savings
- Eliminates wet areas so there is less chance of machinery getting stuck and bare patches
- Improves timeliness for critical field operations, such as seed drilling, fertiliser/chemical application and harvesting
- Promotes fewer cultivation passes
- Reduces draft forces
3. Improves crop yields
Having well drained soils as a result of land drainage can also significantly improve your yields. A recent survey of farmers we undertook revealed that 63% had seen a significant impact on their yields as a result of land drainage. Depending on the condition of the land, an improvement in crop yields can be as much as 150%.
Our Managing Director, Andrew Cotterill added: “In recent years we’ve seen the demand for land drainage increase massively, showing just what impact it can have on crop yields.”
4. Saves you money
You can spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on the latest technology, such as variable rate fertiliser applicators, GPS systems, and black-grass chemicals, but it is completely wasted if the land itself isn’t well drained and the soil structure isn’t right. So save money on fancy chemicals and quick fix solutions and invest in land drainage for a long-term solution that continues to save you money.
Another way of looking at this, the exponential increase in land values over the last 15 years has widened the relationship between drainage capital cost and land value to almost 1:10. If you have land that can no longer be farmed due to poor drainage the cost of draining it properly will be a tenth of the cost of replacing it with more.
5. Maximises quality
Land drainage without a doubt improves the quality of your yield. But don’t just take our word for it, One of our customers, David Jones, farms 1,150ha as part of a family partnership at Hatton Bank Farm, in Stratford upon Avon. Having also grown up in a family owned land drainage business he understands the importance of well-drained land. He commented: “Good land drainage makes the difference between a good and bad crop. A poor crop costs just as much to grow as a good crop. We’ve managed to improve and maintain good soil structure by ensuring our land is well drained.”
Some of our top tips for farmers include:
- Check your old land drainage to ensure your pipes are surrounded by gravel when they were installed.
- Make sure you undertake regular mole draining above the drainage scheme level.
- Ditch and dyke maintenance should also be carried out as necessary and the drainage outlets into these should be checked.
Where to go for advice?
We are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of drainage products. These include drainage pipe in coils, large diameter pipe, twinwall pipe and galvanised pipe. Our drainage products come with the UK’s longest guarantee.
Please get in contact – 0121 351 3230.
*Data collected from a drainage survey at the 2016 Cereals Event