December 2 Webinar: Mapping Tile Drain Systems: Using Technology to Find Grandpa’s Tile

November 25, 2020

AMES, IOWA—Using readily available information to map drainage tile is the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, December 2 at noon. 
Drainage tile is typically ignored after installation, until a problem develops, or the farmer wants to add onto the system. While there are unique ways of finding tile when you need to, such as witching, pressurizing, and smoking, there are also a number of strategies and tools that farmers can use to locate drain tile without digging a dozen holes with a backhoe. 

Kevin Erb, Conservation Professional Training Program coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension, will discuss these strategies and the tools available. Most of the tools use information that the farmer already has, or that is readily available. 

“One of the more frustrating parts of farming is spending the better part of a day (or more) digging random holes with a backhoe to find old drain tile. And waiting until the poorly drained areas show up on next fall’s yield maps means lost yield and profit. Investing time now and mapping out your tile systems is a worthwhile investment that will save time in the future,” said Erb. “There are free and low-cost options that make locating older tile systems simpler than ever before. And it can be fun to combine yield maps, air photos, and other resources to make it happen.”

In addition to managing the Conservation Professional Training Program, Erb’s extension programming includes manure management, soil moisture management, drainage, soil health, and managing agricultural systems in karst areas. 

Webinar Access Instructions
To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 pm CST on December 2:
Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: 
    Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172  
Or, join from a dial-in phone line: 
    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923
    Meeting ID: 364 284 172 

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

About Iowa Learning Farms
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.

Hilary Pierce                Jacqueline Comito
Extension Outreach Specialist    ILF Program Director   
515-294-8912                515-296-0081