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Drainage of excess soil water is essential to sustainable agronomic production on many soils in the Mid-Atlantic region. Drainage can improve crop yields, reduce year-to-year yield variability, and provide trafficable conditions for field operations at critical times of planting or harvest. Drainage system design and management can impact crop production and have environmental consequences. This fact sheet presents the benefits and potential consequences of artificially draining agricultural land, the steps to follow when considering a drainage system, and some aspects of proper drainage system operation and management.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
February 23, 2017