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Public gets chance to visit innovative drainage project in Clinton, Ontario on June 15, 2019

CLINTON, ONTARIO – The public is welcome to stop by one of Ontario’s most innovative field drainage sites as it is being installed on June 15 at the Huronview Demonstration Farm, near Clinton. The event will include live installation, wagon rides, workshops, food trucks and a trade show. The field is located behind the Huronview complex (77722 London Road, Clinton) and all are welcome to drop in between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Admission is $5 per person.
 
The event is being run by Huron Soil and Crop Improvement Association (HSCIA), which is a volunteer board of farmers that are passionate about improving soil and water quality. HSCIA has a fifteen-year agreement with the County of Huron to farm on the 47-acre Huronview Demo Farm field with cover crops, no-till, and best practices.
 
“We knew we needed to invest in field drainage there in order to control erosion and we took this opportunity to try the most innovative system out there,” said Doug Walker, President of HSCIA. “And by partnering with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), we’re able to use it for research.”
 
“It is an unprecedented partnership,” said Melisa Luymes, Project Coordinator. “We’re bringing agricultural, drainage, and environmental stakeholders together to innovate and research for water quality,” she said. “The project is made possible with Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) funding from the federal and provincial governments, along with Huron County’s support.”
 
Drainage is essential for farming, but it needs to be designed well to reduce the potential for impacts downstream, according to Luymes. “Essentially, we’re trying to ‘shut off’ drainage systems with underground control gates at certain times of the year,” she said. “It works on flat fields in Ontario, but the key to making it work on a slope is that lateral tiles need to be installed on contour at a very precise grade. Conventional tile lines usually run straight, but these will curve around the field. It should be really interesting to see.”
 
This is the first time in Ontario that controlled drainage will be tried on a slope, according to Luymes. An Illinois-based drainage design company, AGREM, made the plans for the site and the designers, Jeremy and Bob Meiners, will be presenting their work on June 15 as well.
 
The site will feature a side-by-side-by-side plot of contoured/controlled drainage, conventional drainage, and an area that will remain undrained. Water quality and quantity will be measured, along with yield and soil data. The site also features a research plot comparing 15-foot vs 30-foot tile spacing and a demonstration of surface drainage with terraces and a grassed waterway.
 
Farmers, drainage contractors, and the public are invited to attend the field day on June 15. There will be wagon rides to take visitors through the field sites to learn about contoured and controlled drainage, wetlands, water quality, terraces and soil health.
 
The project is being funded and supported by over a dozen partners so far, including the Huron County Clean Water Project, the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario (LICO), Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) along with four local drainage contractors and three tile manufacturers. This project is also funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of the Partnership in Ontario. To find out more visit www.huronview.net.
Source : OSCIA

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