Podcast: Is Tile Drainage A Fit For Your Farm?
15 Feb 2444m 45s

To tile, or not to tile, that is the question many farmers have. If you’re on the fence about drainage tile, a full— blown tile advocate, or in the camp of farmers convinced tile won’t work on your acres, listen to this! Damian Mason assembles a panel of all stars to talk tile. From the hills of western Iowa, to hard red soils of north Alabama, to Sharkey clays of the Arkansas Delta — Kelly, Chad, and Matt share their lessons and experiences with tile installation projects. Complete with financial info and yield data, the guys explain how tile works on their farms. They are joined by Darla Huff of Advanced Drainage Systems. 


This episode is presented by CLAAS.

00:00 Is tile drainage a fit for your farm? We're asking that question with three very different topographies 00:06 and geographies, the farmers of extreme ag, talking about their tile projects, what they've learned, what they know, and how they can share with you. 00:13 We're joined by Darla Huff with advanced drainage systems. Welcome To Extreme ags Cutting the Curve podcast, 00:20 where real farmers share real insights and real results to help you improve your farming operation. This episode of Cutting the Curve is brought to you by cloth 00:29 where machines aren't just made, they're made for more with a wide range of tractors, combines, forger and hay tools. 00:36 Cloth is a family business just as driven, demanding, and dedicated is yours. Go to cloth.com 00:42 and start cutting your curve with their cutting edge equipment. And now here's your host, Damien Mason. 00:50 Hey there. Welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme Ice. Cutting the curve. It's me, Damien Mason. 00:55 You knew that you got Kelly Garrett from the hills of Western Iowa. You got Chad Henderson from the Red Clay Soils of Alabama. 01:01 You got Matt Miles from the delta of Southeast Arkansas. What do they have in common? Well, 01:06 they're all three founders of extreme ag and they're also good dudes. They also have done some pretty cool things 01:12 with tile drainage, and they wanna share their experience with you because you might be asking the question, 01:18 is tile drainage a fit for my farm? Or maybe you have areas you think it is a fit and others that are not. 01:23 They've got very, very different scenarios and they all have interesting results to share with you. Darla Huff is with Advanced Drainage Systems 01:30 or a DSI still have their postcard right here for the top 10 reasons to tile, one of my favorite little pieces of, uh, uh, 01:37 promotional material ever by a DS. Anyway, uh, before we hit the record button, Darla was going through the things that she says, 01:44 you know, this is what's pretty cool. Obviously I'm, I'm working in the tile drainage business, but you talk about three different areas 01:49 and they all found different stuff. Let's lead off with Matt. Matt did a project 01:53 and you went to him about two to three years ago and you said, give me the worst piece of ground you have. And he did. And then he put tile drainage in it. 02:02 Very different from Matt. Uh, Chad. Chad. You went to an area that's a duck hole, and it was low boggy, wet, didn't even get farmed. 02:09 And yours there you had to put in a big drainage station, drainage, uh, I'm sorry, a a lift station. 02:15 And we've been there and we've covered that before in past episodes. And then Kelly has the hills 02:18 and you're like, why would you need to put drainage tile when you've already got like a 25% slope on these fields? 02:24 The water runs downhill. So I kind of want you to give the overview, Darla, and then we're gonna go to each person. 02:31 Thanks, Damien. Um, so we've seen very different, to your point, we've seen very different results, all positive. 02:39 So thus far, um, with the work that we've done at Kelly's mats and Chad's, uh, respectively. 02:44 So I, the, the benefit of putting tile on all three of their farms is it helps showcase that water management water needs to be managed everywhere, 02:56 not just in flatlands, not just in certain types of soils, and not just, but it can have to be advantageous in hills. 03:02 And so, um, what a lot of people don't understand is that they don't know if they need water to be managed, especially if they're irrigating. 03:08 So they hear drainage and they say, I don't need to take water off my field. I need to put it on it. Um, hence why the attempt 03:15 to get away from the term drainage and change it to water management, um, to get people to understand you're trying to do the most 03:22 with whatever type of water you have on your farm. Um, it's not about taking it away. It's about putting it in the right place. 03:29 And so, um, the situations we have here are these three doing exactly that in their own aspects for the needs for their farm. 03:38 By the way, I like the, uh, the, the subtle correction, and that was me that kept saying drainage. But your company is called advanced drainage systems. 03:44 But that's how we always thought about drainage tile. You know, a hundred years ago you sent a guy out with a spade and a piece of clay 03:49 and they dug down a few feet and put it in there, and it left a little gap between each one of them. It's, it's water management, 03:56 and that's one of your, your, your company's pitches. It's, it's, it's water management. When you look at down there where Matt is, he uses, 04:02 he uses irrigation, uh, I call it flood irrigation, but it's actually called something else and furrow irrigation. 04:08 And you'd say, well, why? If you've got sandy soils and you're irrigating it, why do you need to then drain it? So Matt, answer that question first, 04:15 then tell us about your project. Yeah, so Darla Darla hit the nail on the head with the water management. 04:20 You want, you know, you want, you want the water in the right spot, you want it at the right place and the right time. 04:30 So, so whether it's coming off or whether it's going on, the most efficient way that you can manage that water is what we're looking for. 04:37 So when you look at a place like ours, you would think, why would you need, why would you need drainage? Because you have graded soils. 04:44 You know, we're on a, on a graded slope that we furrow irrigate from the top of the field to the bottom. 04:48 So why would you need to pull that water off, you know, uh, lateral ditches at the end to put it in the canal? 04:55 Well, there's different ways of managing water. And one of those is, you know, different soil types. So we've got a sharky clay soil type, 05:03 which is normally a boggy, uh, what you would call a swampy type soil. And so when we took the worst field we had 05:10 and said, okay, let's see if we can change this soil or this field to be as highly productive as the fields that don't have drainage problems. 05:18 Right? This one had a drainage problem several years. You know, there we didn't even get a crop on it 'cause it would be so late that we would just end up having 05:25 to fail it or something like that. So we took what, a practice that was already working pretty good 05:31 and now trying to perfect that. And we've had some really good results doing that. By the way, would you only put it in the narky soil? 05:41 'cause you've got, you, you always make the point. You've really got two, two very different kinds of soil types down there. 05:46 You've got the clay that's boggy and puts up great big old slabs. Kind of interesting by the way. If you've never been down 05:52 there, they cut through when they cut through it. A big old chunk will come up about the size of a a, a fender on a 57 Buick. 05:59 And then the other stuff you take the, and you throw it in the air and it's like powder. So it does one, one type not needed at all. 06:07 Well, Darla's got some tests going on with that now and some more sandier soils to, to figure out that we actually started 06:13 what we thought would be the most productive, which was taking the least productive ground and trying to, you know, make it most productive. 06:20 So I think there's some studies going on with that today that Darla could probably tell you where, where, 06:25 where they're at on that as of right now Is, are you gonna be putting more sand, more tile for water management in the sandier stuff where Matt is dar? 06:37 So we've got, we've got a trial right now down there as well in the sandier soil to see not only is it advantageous in, um, the the Delta region type sands, 06:51 especially with the heat factors that they have going on. Um, but also what if so what are the spacing? 06:58 Because it's not gonna be the same as the Midwest, because we all know farming in the south is very much different than farming in the Midwest. 07:04 So, um, we have not gathered, we have the data, we have not analyzed it yet, uh, from this past season. We're doing that next week, so we should know more then. 07:13 Um, and then it, you know, as we've seen it match, having a couple of years to kind of really see what the soil does 07:19 after being disrupted for putting the tile on the ground. Um, one of the, I know that one of the things 07:26 that he did see, say is the bug pressure that he had had the negative bug blood pressure that he had had, um, in the area 07:35 where he cow, he didn't have any, well, is that just because we messed up their habitat potentially? Does it have anything to do with water? 07:42 We don't think so, but, um, just a lot of observations that we're gonna try to look at and see what we notice as as time goes on. 07:49 So more to come on the sand, sand of your stuff. All right, we wanna stay in the south and we'll go over to Chad. 07:54 Uh, it was one of the first trips, in fact, it was the first trip I took on behalf of extreme Ag and I went to Madison, Alabama, 08:02 and there was Chad out there crawling around, climbing down into, uh, a big old, uh, three inch or 36 inch drainage pipe. 08:09 And, um, and he said, this is something most people don't do around here. You know, I'm from northeast Indiana. 08:15 We, we've been draining. We've been putting in, uh, tile, uh, for, you know, uh, more than a century up there. 08:21 And then, uh, the reason you do it is to, is you talked about sort of the intangibles, Chad, there's the return on the investment in terms of more yield. 08:31 There's the farm ability, and then I think you're starting to see some other stuff now in its third year. 08:36 So kind of talk us through that. So, you know, when we started this deal and, and we, me and Matt, Matt and I, and got talking to Darla about this, 08:46 you know, we, I didn't need any tile, you know, and, and I didn't, I didn't, your ground, my dirt can't make moisture, so 08:54 therefore I don't think I need to get rid of the moisture I got. And that's a big concept 08:59 among farmers all across the country. You know, it's the last thing on in the farm, but I have a lot of farms we do 09:06 that we've done everything we can do to make these farms profitable. And we get to looking at it with blinders on. 09:12 And that's what I was doing at the time. So instead of trying to fix the best part, like Matt said earlier, went to the highest field 09:19 and making it better, we go to the lowest production part and make it better. That being said, when Damien first come to visit me, 09:27 he said, who would pull a header trailer right out in the middle of that mud and get it stuck just to get it off? 09:32 I said, well, I didn't destroy any wheat. So with that being said, now Damian, I can show you footage of where that, where we pulled out there, where we didn't, 09:40 couldn't produce wheated on it, and now it's 90 bush a wheat, which our farm averages somewhere between 88 and 93 09:48 or four year in, year out. So what I'm saying is we took all those little pockets and all those divots 09:54 and all those little duck nests as people would call 'em, and we made those productive again on a wheat crop. 10:00 Well, and it don't, you know, you don't see it as much in late season beans or double crop beans where it's dried out, 10:06 but in the wheat you see every little dimple from a November or December or January, you know, wet fall 10:12 where we've had just like we did this last week, four plus inches of rain, then you see that, that stuff, Yeah. Because obviously 10:19 your, your moisture problems don't generally occur in North Alabama in June, may, July, August, September, 10:25 it's gonna kill your wheat and since you're a double crop. But if you're, if you're just listening, 10:29 you've never been on with us before. Chad and Matt do double crop wheat, wheat comes off and soybeans go in, or as they call 'em wheat beans. 10:38 So this is a bigger deal. Does it, does it improve the farm ability to then go into the soybeans? 10:43 'cause your wheat come off a little sooner. Do you get a little, do you get a bump on that because of the drainage? 10:49 No, we won't really have a bump on it, but what we're talking about is a consistent field of wheat. We're talking about no, no holes of wheat 10:55 where you don't have three or four or five. You know, the whole problem with farming is the average, right? 11:00 We all farm, we've, everybody on this panel's got a high yield deal. We've all got high yield wheat beans, corn. 11:05 Yeah, that's, that's nice and that's real good. But what we're talking about here is averages. Today we're talking about farm averages, field average, 11:12 and the only way to improve your farm average or field average is through practices such as draining tile drainage or irrigation 11:20 or things of that nature, or your farming getting big areas. And what we've done is we pulled the wire, the hot, the wire 11:27 that runs the irrigation systems, okay? The three-phase wire. We run it right across the field and we're running the lift station with the same power. 11:34 So we're getting a double use out of our electricity that's on the edge of the roads. And we're running lift station with, 11:40 with it in the months from, in, from February, March, April, and may end of part, first part of June. Or if we have a big rain, that's the timeframe 11:52 that we'll use, use the lift stations, then it goes back to the pivots and we run the pivots the rest of the year. 11:57 So it is truly water management. We're gonna go to the, the hills of northwest Iowa and then to a different part 12:05 of the topography and hear from Kelly. And then, uh, I want Darla to do a recap. You know, there's a thing called an obsessive compulsive, 12:13 uh, behavior pattern. And our friend Kelly might have it, I was there in December and we were driving around and he put in some drainage tile 12:20 and he got excited about it and he said, Damien, we should have been doing more drainage tile out here a long time ago. 12:25 You know, these erosion problems aren't because of the hills, it's 'cause of, didn't have enough drainage tile. 12:28 Then we went through one of his new acquisition fields and there's like a six foot deep drainage ditch. He said, I think I'm just go put tile in there. 12:36 I said, that's like a creek. It's like a tributary to the Mississippi River. He wants to tile everything. 12:41 Now the man is over this, he's over his skis on his compulsive tiling work. Now, Darla, you created the monster. 12:51 Am I all right, Kelly? Yes. Now that, uh, you know, we've got a new contractor here we've been working with, and they maybe would have as much energy as Chad, Matt 13:01 and I, and they're not afraid to get after it. The, the project we've got set up for this summer, they, you know, they're wanting me to leave the end rows out 13:07 on this big old creek. We're gonna close it up and make two fields into one. And I'm excited we're gonna put tile in. 13:14 But, but yes, here what we use for the tile would be like a side hill seep. And you have, you have these main ditches 13:21 that are there every year and they cause erosion. And my grandfathers back in the sixties, you know, like many people in the area started putting in terraces 13:30 and, and to try to hold back this water. Um, you know, it was great for the technology at the time, but the tile is so much better. 13:39 And because two things happen when in, in this erosion area, the soil is saturated. 13:44 So saturated soil, there are two problems. Number one, it can't hold any more water. Number two, it's easily erodible. 13:50 And when we tile these main ditches that occur in all of the fields in the same spot, every year we heal the ditch. 13:57 The terrace has never healed the ditch. The tile heals it, and then at the problem, and it's a big field, you know, the, the field 14:03 where I showed you, we fixed seven different spots in a 340 acre field. Those ditches, when they get down to that main creek, 14:12 they start crawling back and, and in places it crawled back into that field, like 200 yards, and it gets to be a deeper ditch. 14:20 And then the trees come up and you start farming around. It creates a lot of short rows. 14:24 And now the contractor came in, we took out all the trees, we bulldozed it shut with dirt, with soil, 14:31 and then the tile contractor came in and we've tiled it. And now I believe it'll, it's, it's healed. 14:36 It will now hold. The whole field will be more productive. You know, the average farmland here is worth $10,000 an 14:43 acre, $9,000 an acre, 12. You say what you wanna say, look at. And, and now I fixed these seven spots. 14:50 I, I believe, oh, if I fixed seven spots, I probably gained 15 acres. You know, times, times $10,000. 14:57 There's $150,000 worth of ground. We didn't spend $150,000. And the productivity 15:04 and efficiency I gained from it, I can't even begin to quantify By the way, he just hit it. 15:10 He didn't even know Darla, he just hit two of your top 10 reasons to tile over here on the a DS card. Number seven, reduces erosion. 15:18 Number four, higher land value. Um, and we're gonna get to the others. But anyway, before we do that, 15:23 I wanna remind you dear listener, uh, about, uh, one of our business partners called Nature's. Nature's is focused on providing sustainable farming 15:30 solutions and helping maintain crop genetic potential for today and for future generations. Nature's high quality liquid fertilizers powered 15:38 by nature's bio K can be targeted at specific periods of influence throughout the growing season via precision placement techniques as a means to mitigate plant stress, 15:48 enhanced crop yield and boost your farm's. ROI natures N-A-C-H-U-R-S natures.com. Go check it out. Our friend Tommy and the folks over there got some cool 15:57 products and these guys use them. Uh, Darla, what every, everybody talked about their thing and we're gonna get into some of the other, um, 16:06 learning experiences with that. What, what comes to mind after all three of these guys talked about 16:11 their, their take on tile? So Kelly and Chad talked about very specific, um, I have a problem I need to fix. 16:22 I'm going to what the situations they described calls we would, we would call spot tiling. 16:29 Um, spot tiling has its placement in the market, has its advantages. And that's usually the irony is that's kind of 16:38 how the business gets started is farmers spot tiles. And they all of a sudden see that land has been my worst. That's been my, my lowest spot. 16:48 How is it all of a sudden performing better than the part next to it that I didn't need to put tile in? 16:54 Um, and it's not because that land is any different, it's because it is utilizing the water correctly now. 17:01 It was, it went from not utilizing it at all to utilizing it correctly, but the assumption has always been 17:07 that they'd land sitting next to it that did not need the tile, quote unquote, um, was already utilizing the water correctly and that, 17:15 but to the, to their eyeballs, it is until you get into the ground. And so I'll give you an example. 17:20 At Chad's farm I gave him, I he wanted to correct the, the spots that he needed to get more money off of. I wanted for our trials, like gimme a feel that you 17:30 as a farmer would not think needs tile. And, you know, let's do both. Let's look at both scenarios. Well, the installer, um, when he was in the machine, 17:40 'cause we joked, we called, we called him of Chad's the, or the really saturated areas 17:43 where we called 'em the wet hole. And the install was like this field, meaning the one that Chad had said doesn't need to be tiled, 17:50 should be called the wet hole. Because the minute they started breaking ground water just started going everywhere. 17:54 And so it just, you don't know what you don't know until you get in the ground, if you will. And so, um, there, my point is 18:02 that there's a benefit to spot tiling. There's a benefit to, um, tiling land just to see if you can get anything extra out 18:09 of it once you feel like you've done everything you can with the dollars that you have above the ground from a seed perspective, 18:14 from a herbicide perspective, from a, uh, fertilizer perspective, um, have you looked at the water, um, that you have on your field or don't have on your field? 18:23 Is, is is one big proponent for sure. And the success that we've seen at Matt's, I'll be honest with you, has just really blown me away. 18:31 Um, if it continues to go that way, you know, I think we've got, we've got some really exciting things for the future. 18:36 Matt, you don't mind being an outlier. She says the results, uh, on your, on your experiment, uh, have blown her away. 18:43 I'm not sure that you're, you're, I'm not sure you're, so, you're not Kelly, you don't wanna like start filling in the 18:50 Mississippi River and then tiling it like he does. But are you, are you convinced you'll be doing more of this? 'cause before we hit the record button, 18:58 you still look at your dollars a lot. Do you think that you do more of this, uh, and, and justify it? 19:04 Or do you think you do this when you have a fat year and, and you've got more money and it's a time to do it? 19:10 Then how do you look at tile now that you're two years in? Well, so the first year, if you'd asked me 19:16 after the first year, you know, do you think you'll ever put any more tile on your farm? My answer would've been maybe, you know, 19:24 after this year, of course we had a record soybean year. So, so, you know, people, naysayers be out there saying, 19:30 well, but everybody cut real really good beans this year. Yeah, but did everybody cut the same beans on their worst 19:36 field as they did their best field? So year two, going into this, I'm starting to try to hunt a way to do some equip money, you know, get, 19:44 get the, the delta region more involved in, you know, some subsidizing with the tile, you know, to help us do that. 19:51 But I see a way brighter future after two years. And Darla told me when we started, said, it's going to take three years in a normal situation 19:59 to really see the benefits of the tile. I think we doubled what we've seen the first year, the second year. 20:05 So it, it's really come on rapidly. This second year we learned a lot the first year we're doing wrong. 20:11 You know, when, when you need that moisture level in that soil, you can't wait till the day before you're ready to irrigate like we do with poly pipe, 20:18 punch the holes and run the moisture down there. You know, we had to build that soil moisture up. So our lift station had to be adjusted 20:25 and then we had to start pumping into that tile earlier than what we thought. You know, it's about a 20 20:31 or 30 day period to get that where we needed to be. Not two days before when I call and say, Hey darling, I'm gonna start this pump up, I need 20:38 to irrigate this week. So, you know, it's a learning curve that we come through. But with what I've seen this year on the yield and, 20:46 and not just the yield, but we had this field stood underwater after I planted it about 18 inches of water for 40, 20:54 40 hours or so, no, yeah, 40, 40 to 50 hours it stood underwater. This was flat planted, ground flat planting 21:03 sharky clay is a absolute no-no because you have that, you know, you have nothing to hold it up out of the water, any, 21:10 even when the water goes down, you know, we'll stay soggy and that bed enables us to have that, you know, 21:17 that crop about four to six inches above that surface water that's setting there that hadn't come off. 21:22 This is pret tile. So we go in there now, we're planting it flat, we can change our row spacings. 21:28 There's several different things we can do to increase yield and also, you know, make it work as good as the fields 21:36 that we're, we, we don't, we haven't had to worry about those situations. Interesting. Um, And if you don't mind, Damien, it, 21:44 can I add a couple things there for Matt? So I I would agree with Matt in the, I'm still on the, um, 21:52 is Matt gonna just cover his farm and tile? My answer would still be like, we hope, but we don't know yet because we have 22:01 to prove the ROI does drain tile work in the mid, in the, in the delta. I would say yes. Is it going in the sharky clay scenario? 22:09 Um, is drainage alone gonna enough for our farmer to ROI given how much pipe they have to put in the ground? Great question. We're putting those numbers in. 22:18 That's why we're looking at, and what he was just referencing was we were subsurface irrigating back through that tile line 22:23 because if we can also put more water on when they need it, that helps with the them, with the ROI. 22:28 So as we move forward with Matt's trial, you know, we've seen tremendous results from a, from a, um, a bushel perspective. 22:38 But what about water savings? What about, what about time? What about, um, to his point, how much easier is it, is it 22:47 for him to plant earlier plant date? We wanna put numbers to all of those things to see, okay, is it going to pencil out for the farmer in a good year, 22:58 in a bad year, in an okay year? Um, does it, you know, what are all those scenarios that we need to look at so that these guys can start 23:07 to tap into that equip money? Because equip money in the Midwest for water management, no brainer. 23:12 It's there. You can find it depending on the state, depending on your, your um, NRCS agents and what the government's offering your state. 23:20 But this is kind of a no man's land, if you will, from a water management perspective for Delta farmers. Um, and does this open up that door for them to have a place 23:29 to go to get, uh, federal funding to help them, especially with the things that we've got going on 23:33 with the aquifers potentially drying up. So we're trying to see not only the benefits for the farmers and their land, but also 23:41 for agriculture, if you will, in that area. And Damon, if you look at it, you like to look at numbers. I know 'cause I do too, 23:49 but if you look at just comparing year one to year two and you say, okay, we had a higher average bean yield, so take 20% off of that, you know, exit x 20% off 24:00 because yield were higher this year. We're still at a 230, 200 $40 per acre yield increase. 24:08 So depending on the pro, you know, your design, what your pipe's gonna cost, you know, if we're looking at 200 plus an acre 24:14 increase the payback's there. Yeah. By the way, return on investment's, one of the top 10 on here. 24:20 Uh, so I mean, people just wanna know rough numbers, 1500 bucks an acre is a tile job. Is that, I mean, is that a reasonable number? Darla? 24:27 I don't know. Yeah, 15 or 1600 with the inflation stuff everybody's dealing with from Covid right now. I would say that that's a fair number for sure. 24:36 Um, and I don't know how detailed, Matt, we want to go into the numbers, but I I don't mind throwing out there his last, if, if Matt's comfortable with it. 24:45 Mm-Hmm. The last time he planted beans with no tile, he had what, 55 bushels an acre on that field. 24:52 Um, this past year he had 89 mm-Hmm. Um, and so we're talking almost double, you know, be, and the only thing in my mind from 25:03 what he's saying when he said, instead of looking at it for what beans are cutting, let me compare it 25:07 to my most high yield field. And he went from being substantially behind, um, his highest yielding field to only being 11% 25:16 behind that same field. So he went from being 41% behind his high yield field comparison in 2015 to now he's 11% behind that high yield field comparison. 25:27 So it's, it looks like it's doing its job. Um, so far, Kelly, the other guys have both, if You want numbers, Chad, Chad 25:34 and Matt both just said, um, that, uh, go to your, you know, they went to their worst fields. 25:41 Uh, I think that's, that seems counterintuitive. You talk a lot about low hanging fruits, one of your favorite statements and all that. 25:47 Kelly. So what's, what's your thought on where the, the tile for you is more erosion control 25:53 than it is asset improvement? I mean, it is asset improvement, but you don't say, I'm gonna go 25:58 to the worst field in Crawford County and put this in. That's not how you look at it. No bad fields, no, because 26:07 They didn't have any bad fields. But those guys go to their bad, like what Matt did right there. 26:12 That 30% improvement that Darla just showed. That is the low hanging fruit. Absolutely. And for us, you know, the soil is so variable, um, 26:21 and where those side hill seeps are, that is the worst part of the field. And you're, you're typically gonna find your 26:28 biggest pH problems. You're gonna find your worst yield where it's wet. And when we put in that tile 26:34 and you get that oxygen in the soil, it just heals it. You know? I mean, you wanna talk about how important tile is here? 26:41 I'll, I I'm sitting here thinking about it, it listening to these guys, every time I speak, 26:45 I say my number one priority is base saturation. If you don't, if you don't address your base saturation problems, there's no reason to go on and, 26:53 and spend money on any of the other fertility Foley or things like that. 'cause you're wasting your money. Well, 26:59 if you don't address your tile problem, if the soil's wet and you don't address that wet problem, there's no reason 27:05 to address the base saturation problem because no oxygen in the soil, the water coming up, you can't farm it. 27:12 That, and, and that's what Matt and Chad have done. And, and you know, you wanna talk about progressive farmers. Nobody does it in the south until those guys get there. 27:20 Now Darla talked it into it, so she deserves some credit, but, but those two, 27:25 those two are the very definition of progressive farmers. Chad, uh, aeration is one 27:31 of the things he just talked about. And Darla gave the example that your contractor was working in one part of the field 27:36 that you thought was the low bog, wet hole, whatever, duck pond, whatever you, you, you terms you've used. But then he said over there is also saturated down low, 27:46 which is an interesting thing. It's dry on the top, it's dry and it's hot. And people think, yeah, this is it. 27:52 Summertime in, in Alabama. But there's, there's some, there's there's something about that where the water is, you don't even see it. 28:00 But then there's the aeration. So kind of talk about the thing that fooled that, that would confuse you from the eyeballs 28:06 and then the aeration that Kelly talks about. So, so I got one to two things and it's gonna go a couple different ways. 28:12 Um, so one, we talked, she talked numbers. Matt talked numbers, so she's gonna get my numbers. Let's just get them right on, on the table. 28:19 So from the last year I grew wheat on the farm. When you came and you had those wet holes and you seen how wet it was and, and all that. 28:27 When we done that, that same farm, farm average was like 73 bushel because of those holes. The la this last year when we cut the tile off of it, 28:36 that average was 83 and a half. So we picked up 10, you know, 10, 11 bushels farm average on that farm when we done that. 28:47 And it's 'cause we evened the whole farm up. Okay, now let's talk about what Darla talked about. By The way, that's not just the 11 bushels wasn't just 28:54 on those acres, that's the thing. Those acres went from nothing to something. Correct? They went from, they went from five bushels to 80. Correct. 29:02 And so that's, it's, it's again, it's, it brought your whole farm. It'd be one thing if the numbers were even more impressive 29:09 if you talked about just the 20 or 30 acres, it was directly impacted. Correct. So then let's talk about the next thing. 29:15 The next thing is when we go, when we switch over to our corn acres, okay, so our biggest problem on those acres that 29:21 where we was at is we've had some rolling ground to where we had the hills or red hills. And when I say hills are not Kelly's hills, they're like 10% 29:30 of Kelly's heels like that slope like that, you know, but so when you have a heel, it's dry and it's ready to plant. 29:37 Well the swags on either side of it, like Kelly was talking about, I still have those as swags on either side of it, are not ready to plant. 29:43 Well, I'm not gonna go out there and plant with a 24 row planter and plant that heel. So either the heel gets planted later 29:49 or the bottom we have to plant around when neither one of those scenarios are good. Well, when we add all the tile we put in 29:56 and we are now where we even the plant data up, we can make the bottoms where they're dry enough to plant when the he's dry enough to plant. 30:05 Yep. You know, so then Darla said, oh, he's spot tile. Yep, sure did. The first year we spot tile. Well then she didn't mention the next one. 30:12 We come back and we've done it again. So we would, I would dare to say we probably have as much pattern tile as anybody in, I know in, 30:20 in the north half Alabama, there may be some in the bottom half. But in north half Alabama we're at about 250 acres. 30:26 Pattern tiled. Mm-Hmm. But true to her point, when we put the tiling machine in the ground, they wanted to change the name of the field in the, in the apps 30:33 where we all check our boxes, you know, because of the water table where it was that same water table is the one that keeps us from planting 30:43 later, planting early on our corn, which in turn is pushing us to wear our heat window. You know, in the south we're trying 30:50 to get planted as early as possible. You know, Matt will strike out within February soybeans, he's striking out with a first marching corn 30:56 and we're trying to beat the heat. We say that all the time. We're trying to beat the heat, the heat window is coming. 31:01 Where are you going to be at with your crop stage when the heat comes? So the sooner you can plant 31:06 and the more uniform the field is, the better your crop runs out the bat. One thing I wanna say to that, I know it's a lot, 31:14 I wanna say that too, Damien, Damien that I think we do as farmers is we, you take a hundred acre field and you've got 10 acres that are bad. 31:23 And this is what Chad corrected. You say, well it's not a 10 acres and it may be an acre here and three acres here and seven there, but 10 acres 31:32 and a hundred acre field, it is 10% of your yield when you start doing the math on 10% of your yield. 31:38 If you can, if you can recapture like he did those holes, uh, 10% of that field, that that's a no brainer. 31:47 Absolutely. That's what I wanted to add. Matt's right, it's worse and it's even worse than 10% because you've got inputs on that 10%. 31:54 So that 10 bushel that Chad captured or that 30% that Matt captured defines one of my favorite words in the English language. 32:01 The net, there's not, not gross revenue. That's net revenue. And that's the most important kind. Yeah, 32:08 Yeah. Because you, because you were already putting out the inputs. And so you should, you should either just let it be, 32:15 let it be or not even farm it. Uh, yes. I mean there's some ground, there's some ground that honestly, if it's not properly managed, it's 32:22 to Darla's company is water management. If it's not properly managed, why even fool 'em with it? Either management. Exactly. 32:28 Either management or it's not farm it. I think it's kind all Got better than that. 32:31 It gets, it gets better than that because these are places that I was having trouble 'cause the pivots was getting stuck in 'em. 32:36 So it's irrigated, it's irrigated, zero production. It just, it just keeps compounding here. Yes. I want Ask questions. 32:44 And Damien, if you look at that, if you look at that sheet, it also says better uptake of your inputs. 32:51 Actually it says Specifically probably because of what Kelly said. Yeah's Gonna check all the boxes. 32:56 I like, isn't it interesting She didn't even know I've had this in my office for quite some time now. 33:01 Um, I'm, I'm a, I'm a big fan. I'm Incredibly proud of you. Alright, let's go with the question 33:05 that we asked from the front of the show. Is tile drainage a fit for your farm? There's gonna be somebody that says, no, I can't afford it. 33:13 Uh, it works for Kelly, it works for Chad, it works for Matt. It won't work for me. Farmers, by the way, love, love. 33:19 There's nothing they love more than going to the diner and talking about how that wouldn't work here. That's amazing. That would never work here. 33:27 They, I've seen it by townships. I've seen it by like four miles away. Well, I never work over here. 33:33 I'm like, you're four miles apart. What it anyway, dispel the myth. Answer the question. Help the person that's listening to this. 33:41 That's what we do here at Extreme Mag. Anybody that wants to go, uh, you know, hell, hell uh, Matt, let's go with you. 33:47 You, you're a little skeptical. It's Todd Dran a fit for your farm. You've had the questions. 33:51 You're the Kelly's Kelly's people been tiling for a long time. My people have been tiling for a long time. 33:57 What's the, what's what, when someone hangs up with this episode, what are you gonna tell 'em? Well, just like, just like I said earlier, uh, the, 34:04 after the first year I was doubting it a little bit. After the second year, I'm pretty much on board. I is it, is it something I need to do to every field I own? 34:13 No, but is there some fields out there that I can more than pay for it back in less than 10 years? I think daughter and I looked at maybe seven 34:20 years or something like that. Mm-Hmm. At, at the max. So I mean, if, if I give you a hundred and you give me, you know, 150 back, 34:28 I'm gonna be for that every time Chad. And I think what people forget sometimes, but I just don't throw this in there. 34:36 What people forget sometimes this is a, an input you do on that field. You do it one time. You're not 34:42 having to repeat it every year. You put it, if it's done correctly, you do it once. Yeah. That's it. 34:48 Yeah. That's, well that's, that's the neat part. Yeah. You're not, you're not talking about going out and and having to do this every here. 34:53 Chad, is tile drainage a fit for your farm? There's gonna be somebody that says, that won't work here. That's not a fit for my farm. What do you think? 35:01 Well, for one, one myth I want to displace is the fact that well, them boys are talking about it because they probably give them a bunch of rolls of tile 35:07 or a bunch of truckloads of tile. Yeah. They helped with a project and Yeah. You know, we signed our name to a, a lot of years of data 35:15 with this and the data is for you. So the people that think that we just, a lot of farmers out here that do a lot of trial work 35:21 that are just because we're giving product a lot of times that ain't, that is definitely not the case, you know? 35:28 And um, so let's displace that right off the bat that we purchased a lot of tile. And it's because yes, I think every farm can, 35:37 I think every farm can benefit it. Like every farm in some way or another can benefit from benefit from irrigation. 35:43 Yeah. You know, every farm has a piece. And again, the people who are out here that are naysayers just a lot of times don't want to, 35:52 you know, they, they don't want to find that low hanging fruit. They, they're waiting on the seed company 35:57 to do a better seed. If they, if you had a better seed and, and it would stay underwater 36:01 for two weeks instead of two days. Like hell, that'd be all right. You know? And so, you know, we're they're waiting on somebody 36:08 to bring 'em something instead of going after the hard work. And, and it is and, and it's, 36:12 and maybe it's not feasible yet, you know, we had to do ours behind wheat because it's harder to get a tiling company, 36:19 you know, to come down here an installer and come down here when in the fall like they would do in your area, Damien, you know, so we had to do it 36:27 behind the wheat and come in there and do a 10. So, so there's definitely challenges to it. But that's, you know, what we do in here, extreme ag to try 36:34 to build these things to make, to, to allow farmers to look at options is, is why we do what we do. The challenges are today. What we're trying 36:44 to do is if it works, make It dar. I'm sorry. That's right. It's not, It won't be a challenge. Mark 36:49 call me or Matt, I'll have a machine. Well, Darla, before we go to Kelly, that's the interesting thing. 36:57 'cause you, you kind of specifically chose Chad and Matt because you said there's this belief 37:03 that somehow there's no reason for a tile in, in the south and that's why you kind of picked them. 37:09 But because obviously we have a big platform here and, and we, we are pretty frank about sharing our numbers or information, but there's, it's probably more prevalent. 37:18 It's certainly more prevalent probably in the south. I've never been a farmer in the south, but I'm assuming it's more prevalent that they would say 37:24 that won't work here or it's not necessary here. Mm-Hmm. Right. So I, um, 37:30 previous life when I worked at Corteva Dagher scientist, I worked with southern farmers, that 37:34 that was a portfolio that I covered. And so many times I would watch us as a company try to market to a farmer in the south the same exact way we 37:43 marketed to farmers in the Midwest. And being from Louisiana myself, I watched it fail epically in certain certain time periods 37:51 because it's not the same type of farming. And so whenever I came to a DS and I saw this is really successful in the Midwest, 38:00 we've tried it in the south, it doesn't work. I'm like, well if, if you did a Midwest approach the South, I guarantee you it didn't work. 38:07 Um, it, so looking at it differently for what they need versus what we know has been a historical mistake in my opinion. 38:15 Um, one thing I will say, I'm gonna provide my own answer and it has nothing to do with me 38:20 as a company because I work there. It's, I've looked for it. I have never found a farmer. We say, does farming fit your farm? 38:26 Is it, is it a fit for your farm? We've never found a farmer who stopped piling because it hurt them. 38:35 If you'll, yeah, that's been my experience. Far point, far point is once, it's kinda like once, once you do it, you don't need sold on it. 38:42 You say, like to Matt's point, I'm sure by 3, 4, 5 years he's gonna say, mm-hmm. Improve ation. I can use it as part of my irrigation. 38:51 It is water management. I mean, he'll start selling it himself in his head. He won't need sold on the concept 38:57 after he sees the result is what you're saying. Mm-Hmm. You know, it's Kind of like, right. And then when, when you have a farmer like Chad who is, 39:04 whose farm is being, farms are continuously in his area being bought. And so how is for houses 39:13 or business or whatever. So we still, we, it's the same old tell y'all know this, you have how many people to feed with less ground. 39:22 How much more creative can you get while you're waiting on that next feed to come out 39:26 or to pre, so how do you predict the weather? This is the best thing we can help you do to help control what mother nature does to your crop. 39:34 And it's another thing if you haven't tried it, it can help benefit. So it's another tool in the toolbox, if you will, um, 39:40 to hopefully help them as we move forward. Kelly, you're the last one to go on this question. So, is tile drain a fit for your farm? 39:48 Again, we're midwesterners we are certainly more, but, but in your part of the world and also, okay, you're, you've got the hills. 39:55 Why, why would you bother tiling on a hill in my part of the world? It's the poor ground argument. 40:01 Alright, you can go ahead and put expensive tile on that really good stuff, but this is below, uh, good stuff. 40:08 You know, that's the argument I see in my part of the world. Like why would you put it on your lesser Indiana ground? 40:13 Go ahead and maximize your good stuff. And I think it's as what you guys have all talked about, low hanging fruit. 40:18 Uh, you get a big bump off of the low stuff. Absolutely. Uh, tile's definitely a fit for the ground here. 40:25 Be it the flat ground or the hill ground because it improves the ground. It, it in many ways, uh, 40:32 is the number one thing you should address. Because if you don't, if you don't, IM, if you don't improve that soil and really you're improving soil health, you know, 40:39 we talk about sustainability all the time. You're improving soil health. You're going to, you're gonna improve the photos. 40:47 Synthesization, that's a big word. You're gonna improve the photosynthesis of the plants in that area because you're gonna put oxygen in that soil. 40:55 You're going to improve the soil health. It should be your number one, uh, priority. If you have a water problem in that soil, 41:03 it absolutely is a fit for all ground Garla. Uh, if more people need to see this, I'm gonna make sure I just hold it up there. 41:11 The top 10 reasons to tile, I think it's cool. Uh, higher yields. Number two, break, lower break even. Price. Number three, higher return on investment. 41:19 Uh, four higher land value. To Kelly's point, you just approved the asset longer growing seasons. 41:23 Chad just talked about that. He gets an extra couple of weeks on his corn crop 'cause he beats the heat by getting the seed in earlier. 41:29 He can get the seed in earlier 'cause the ground's not wet. Uh, let's see. Did we hit all these? I think we did. 41:33 Um, healthier roots. We didn't quite cover that, but I think, uh, Matt might be a really good example there. If you've got a really tight, if you 41:41 can we say healthier roots is something that you definitely see on your tighter ground. Oh, there's no question. I mean, 41:46 watching this subsurface irrigation work, you know, it doesn't, you you can, we can be subsurface, irrigating through this tile and you can walk all over that field. 41:55 You want to Yeah. If we're further irrigating, no way that would happen. Right? You'd have to be the Olympic athlete. 42:00 So what we've seen is those roots, if you will allow them to do this, they will go down deeper 42:06 and pick up moisture deeper. And guess what's down there where it's deeper, more nutrients. Nutrients, 42:12 Uh, reduces erosion. Kelly already gave the example on that. Reduces soil compaction. 42:16 Chad, that's something we didn't talk about. Uh, but you talked about getting stuck out there. Uh, maybe that's, that's the one you covered. Yes. 42:22 You'll see yes on number eight. Reduce the soil compaction. Yep. Reduce soil compaction. 42:27 'cause when you take your sprayer and they tile and then you run it about three weeks later and run off in one of 'em, tile ruts, 42:33 that reduces compaction. Superior soil structure. Um, uh, tile plan, each porous soil. I think the soil structure argument could be there. 42:44 If we talked about aeration, we just covered that. And then improved wheat control. It's only, we didn't get to How's it improved Weed control. 42:49 Darla, that's the last question for you before we get outta here. It allows you to uptake those nutrients 42:55 that you're putting on to that land that you were, it, the plant will uptake the nutrients better because of the improvement of bay to the soil structure. 43:02 And it's not soaking wet. So to Kelly's point, you're not spraying nothing. You're spraying, you're actually getting 43:08 something out of what you're spraying. So you're that net. Kelly talked about it contributes to that. 43:14 He's always bringing it back to the money. That's why he is here. His name's Kelly Garrett, Iowa Farmer, Chad Henderson, mass, Alabama, Matt Miles, uh, 43:21 the Delta region of southeast Arkansas in a town called McGee in DHA County. I'm Damien Mason. She's, she's Darla Huff 43:28 and she's with a DS. If you wanna learn more about the products that the a DS has, where do they go? 43:32 Darla A ds pipe.com. A ds pipe.com. Till next time, thanks for being here. If you wanna take your l your learning 43:40 to the next level, these are all free. Cutting the curve. Literally hundreds of these episodes. We've recorded hundreds of videos. 43:45 These guys have shot out in the field all free at Extreme Ag Do Farm. Also, you can keep up with us on our new YouTube channel. 43:51 That's right. We have a TV show coming out. It's called the Extreme Ag Show and you can watch it. If you want to do even more than that, you can become 43:59 a member for $750 a year, a member of Extreme Ag, and you'll get a question answer platform. You can talk to guys like Matt, Kelly, Chad, 44:06 and get a little deeper on a subject. For instance, the drainage on your farm. Seven 50 bucks a year is a very, very small investment 44:13 for all the cool stuff you can do and apply it to your farm. So next time, thanks for being here. 44:17 Check out all of our stuff. Extreme ag.farm. This is extreme ag cutting the curb. That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve. 44:24 Make sure to check out Extreme ag.farm for more great content to help you squeeze more profit out of your farming operation. 44:31 Cutting the curve is brought to you by cloth where machines aren't just made. They're made. For more. 44:37 Visit cloth.com and start cutting your curve with cutting edge equipment.

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