Attendees of the InfoAg Conference arrived at Springfield Plastics, Inc. for a tour of the plant and a field demonstration of a saturated buffer system. The InfoAg Conference is the leading event in precision agriculture. The tour portion of the conference included stops at Brandt Consolidated’s research farm, Springfield Plastics Inc. and onsite UAV demonstrations. While at Springfield Plastics, attendees got a first hand view of the manufacturing process of field drainage pipe that consists of 100% virgin resin. Speakers from Springfield Plastics spoke about the different types of drainage pipe on the market, as well as new initiatives and techniques on managed drainage.
After the plant tour, Springfield Plastics treated the attendees to a first hand look at two systems that are sparking tremendous interest in the drainage industry: Drainage Water Management (DWM) and Saturated Buffer Systems. DWM is the practice of using a water control structure in a main, sub main, or lateral drain to vary the depth of the drainage outlet. DWM manages the timing and amount of water discharged from agricultural drainage systems. Water quality benefits are possible by minimizing unnecessary tile drainage and reducing nitrate amounts that leave fields. DWM systems can also retain water needed for late season crop production. It allows producers to control water delivery by holding water in root zones when crops need it and draining it when there’s too much. A saturated buffer system has a control structure that diverts the flow from the outlet to a lateral distribution line. The lateral distribution line runs parallel to the buffer and as the water is diverted to this line a saturation occurs from this line. As this saturation or lateral water movement through the buffer occurs the vegetation naturally removes the nutrients in the water. The saturated buffer systems are gaining much interest. In fact, a test site in Northern Iowa showed that after the 1st year the producer was able to divert 60% of the water to a buffer system. Of that 60% of water, they saw a 90% reduction in nitrates.
As demonstrated, the benefits of a controlled drainage system are:
- Reduction in nitrogen and phosphorous levels
- Conservation of water
- Increase in yield
- Allows a producer to control the water table level on their terms
- Offers positive environmental benefits
Springfield Plastics, Inc. based in Auburn, Illinois is a Midwest manufacturer that has created plastic pipe solutions in the agricultural, residential and building, and commercial and highway markets since 1978. Springfield Plastics, Inc. is the only U.S. manufacturer certified to use only 100% virgin resin in all products that provide peace of mind through the highest quality and consistency available in today’s drainage market. www.spipipe.com