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Sponsored: Does Sub-Irrigation Pay? All Signs Point to Yes!

In 2016, Beck’s Southern Illinois Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team set out to determine the yield differences between not having drainage or irrigation vs. having one of four water management systems: sensor-based sub-irrigation, controlled water table, tile drainage, and manual sub-irrigation. These water management solutions were all tested on two different genetic families, one of which possessed an improved ability to handle moisture stress. 

In the video below, Jonathan Perkins, PFR Location Lead and Agronomist at Beck’s Southern Illinois PFR site reviews the results of this study. Spoiler alert, water management pays in Southern, IL. What the PFR team found with this study is that having the ability to control the flow of water both into and out of the field has proven profitable, with increased yield levels of over 30 Bu./A. on the products tested. 

Set up on 15 ft. widths that followed the contour of the ground, this study evaluated both draining the soil profile during wet times of the season and recharging the water table when it became hot and dry. When compared back to the control, not only did the team observe an increase in yield, they also saw visual differences such as uniform, increased plant stands and improved plant health as well as the tile area drying out one to two days earlier, allowing for earlier planting dates. 

Joining Perkins in this video is Jeremy Meiners of AGREM, LLC who discusses the advantages of using the AGREM sub-irrigation system. 

You can view the full details of this study on page 245 of the 2016 PFR book by clicking here

For more information from Jonathan Perkins, please visit his blog or visit the PFR page on 

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