Here at the District, we collect data for a VT Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets’ (VAAFM) study of tile drain sites across the state. Tile drains are installed under agricultural fields to drain off excess water in wet conditions to help crops grow more efficiently. Drains may be a single pipe or a system of pipes with water flowing out through one outlet below the field. The VAAFM study has been going for two years, collecting data on when tile drains run, how much water is coming out of them, and what the nutrient levels are in that water. The goal of the study is to be able to create better policy and legislation to manage tile drains in the state. We are just wrapping up the first two-year cycle and recently received funding to continue to manage a portion of the study for the next two-year cycle! As the first cycle winds down, VAAFM will begin analyzing data to see what information they can learn about how tile drains operate.
-by Eliza Letourneau