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Improving drainage of crop land

Good drainage is essential for maintaining crop health. Wet weather provides a good opportunity to improve the drainage of your crop land, as it allows you to identify and address any problem areas.

There are several things you can do to improve crop drainage, immediately and in the longer term.

Drainage problems after flooding

After significant rain or flooding, inspect the crops when it is safe to do so and mark areas (e.g. with coloured pegs) that are affected by poor drainage. If possible, take immediate steps to improve the drainage of these areas so that the water can get away (e.g. by digging drains).

Irrigation after waterlogging

To avoid recurrence of waterlogging, time irrigation by applying small amounts often until the crop's root system has recovered.

Ways to improve drainage

In the longer term, look for ways to improve the drainage of the affected areas. Options might include:

  • re-shaping the layout of the field
  • improving surface drainage
  • installing subsurface drainage.

If the drainage can't be improved, consider using the area for some other purpose (e.g. for a silt trap).