Managing Matt's Sharkey Clay
6 Apr 2310 min 38 sec

Matt conducted a drain tile trial with

Advanced Drainage Systems

 last season in an attempt to better manage his Sharkey Clay. He explains how the drain tile led to a 10 bpa increase in his bean crop and how he plans to utilize it to not only take water out, but push it back into the crop as a form of subsurface irrigation.

00:00 Hey folks talking about drainage and we're doing it with Matt miles of Magee Arkansas who has his first full 00:06 year of results in conjunction with our friends at ads. We are at the ads Booth right now commodity classic and you know, what pretty exciting stuff 00:15 you installed this in the summer of 2021 and Darla you've said repeatedly the south is kind of a new frontier for drainage tile. They 00:24 just didn't use it didn't think they needed it. And you got Matt how many acres was the project and I want to 00:30 hear all about it. So it's a 40 acre project and what we're looking at in Sharky play is not only can it be drained. But is there a benefit? 00:37 Based on the amount of pipe reporting in the ground. Is there a benefit to also subsurface irrigate back through the drain tile? 00:43 So making sure that water the water table in the field is doing what we want it to do. Is it at the right height that it needs to be for beans is that the right height it needs to be for corn and hopefully 00:52 or we would also flood rice. Okay, that's a bunch of stuff. By the way to the person is not from the Delta region of Arkansas Sharky clay Sharky clay 01:01 reminds me of Kevin Matthews Easter freeze. I started here in Sharkey clay talk. What the heck is Sharky clay Sharky Clay is a soul type that we have, you know 01:10 in the Delta which I'm it's around the United States. We we've learned as we've been in this project. There's a lot more places that have 01:16 Sharky clay than we thought but it is it's basically a high clay content. So in our 01:22 area the Sharky Clay is usually the forest ground that has the you know, we planted the latest and poorest or 01:29 forest forest. Okay? It's not good. No, it's our it's usually our worst ground because it's Sharky plays always in the lower areas Okay, so 01:37 lower areas poor drainage ads drain tile So this is the whole circle right here, right? So garlic a fact that Sharky clay holds more nutrients in 01:48 our Sands that we make to higher yields on. We just can't get it drained. So it's a it's better ground. It's just 01:54 wetter grout correct me in terms of the nutrients. And so you're you're looking for someone to cherry pick because you're like these Southern Farmers don't think they need drainage tile and you 02:03 said of all things. Let's try here. What can I told him? Give me your worst field because I want to know if it works and you know, and then if it does work, what is that? Roi gonna be there? 02:12 Is it enough for a farmer to want to do it? And then how much Roi can we get him? Can we reduce the amount of water? He's using 02:18 by pushing water back through the drain towel whenever it is time to irrigate because 95% of the crops down. There 02:24 are you know our irrigated. So can we kill two birds with one stone and keep the farmers making money at the same time? All right. So the sub of the drainage then we'll talk about the irrigation. 02:33 And obviously we're gonna talk about the results the drainage worked. Yes. There's a video right now because we're in a booth here. 02:39 I'm watching while I'm talking to you. Is you on ground that your caption says we never would have gotten out of this field this soon well, and that's that's 02:48 where I was going to go. Next is the fact that we're talking about the Sharky clay, one of the biggest yield influencers in any crop 02:54 that we grow is early planning and what do we plant last the poorest drain soles the Sharky Clays? Okay. So right off the bat this video that 03:03 you were looking at we're on that field in January that's unheard of normally. It would be too much later than that. It'd 03:09 be it's yeah just depends on the weather but it's always going to be a week to two weeks later than we get on our 03:15 Sands. He called me the February beans. He called me and said you want to plant every beans I said not on my drive field not in the first year so it could have been very being feel I 03:24 think was right next to turn around the drainage Works end of the story and now like you said, we're accessing those resources 03:30 because the soil wasn't the problem. The moisture was the problem correct and help how fast can we pull 03:36 that water off so that they can either get in the field plant day is King like Matt said and you know, we've got what a 10 bushel increase 25% increase 03:42 We saw from drainage alone. And I wouldn't I don't understand I wouldn't let him irrigate this year. We were looking at how if we're gonna sub service. Irrigate. We knew that this 03:51 first year was going to be a little bit of pressure. We knew he was going to have a lot of heat. What is it gonna do? So the fact that we were not able to irrigate like 03:57 he would normally do in a year and he still got a 10% I mean a Tim bushel 25% bushel increase was incredible. So once we get the irrigation, right, you know in this next 04:06 year, I'll be really so we just threw a few numbers out there the real numbers you think are comparing it to the field next across the road that has 04:12 the Sharky clay. That was not drained. What was the result? Well, there was a Tim bushel increase in that field from the previous time. Okay, you know so that I 04:21 mean at fifteen dollar beans that's pretty easy to calculate that that's going year over year so you can always say yearly weather 04:27 conditions if you compare it to a field across the road you'd say probably still the same thing. Yeah, probably so, all right, let's talk 04:33 about the irrigation because 95% of his Acres irrigated when I was down there they put Polly pipe out and they punch holes in it and they flood. 04:42 Euro, that's what I would call it. Right and now you're saying hey we're gonna train use drainstalled irrigate. Now you had 04:48 to sell them on a second New Concept drainage and now subsurface irrigation right kind of tough sell. You know, exactly the good 04:54 thing is it doesn't take anything additional really it takes one piece a couple of pieces of equipment. But because the amount of 05:00 tile that you have to put in sub service in Sharkey Clay is the same amount that is required for subsurface irrigation to be 05:06 successful. It's kind of like a why wouldn't we do that what we're seeing from a scientific perspective what we're seeing in the south is 05:12 You know, every University is talking about the aquifer drying up in the next 15 to 20 years. So how do we help them utilize their 05:18 Wills but utilize less water over time. And so it's not just about drainage and irrigation. It's about helping them utilize less water maximize the 05:27 water that they do have on their Farm maximize the inputs. They're putting on it and then also in creating bustle at the same time, so 05:33 instead of being Instead of being you know handcuffed by the weather. Can we help you control the water more on that 05:41 farm than you've ever been able to do in the view in the previous past. So it's about Water Management. We talked about that. It's not 05:47 just drainage. It's water management. What do you have to say to somebody that maybe is reluctant because they're 05:53 down on the south and they like, oh, we don't do the rain style down here. Well, I was that guy and being able 05:59 to get on that field in January last year made it believe we're out of me from the drainage perspective, right if we get the irrigation piece to 06:05 work, right and I think we will you know it it's a project so, you know, you're not gonna hit a home run. Yeah on everything the first year. I think 06:14 that we'll be able to change Road configurations and some are soybeans. We'll be out if we can if we can make it work on rides. We 06:20 don't have to be on that raise bed. I actually took a flat field which is a No-No and I are you know, Sharky 06:26 clay and increase yield because it didn't have to be on the bed to stay out of the water because we took that we took the water. Wow, so you 06:35 forgot I'm glad you mentioned that he planted his twin Rose but not on beds. So the amount of it's it's 06:41 it's the time it's the plant date. It's all the things that you can't always put a number to that it also the benefit also brings to it now. 06:49 In this in the subserve irrigation story that we're trying to learn we're trying to figure out what is going to be the best for that for the Delta. We're 06:55 just gonna be the best irrigation partner or what do all of the irrigation Partners look like with drainage. What is what is fur irrigation look 07:01 like what is subsurface irrigation look like what is Pivot irrigation look like because it's not exactly it doesn't have to be one or 07:07 the other we want to do. What is going to be the most profitable for the farmer man? 07:12 You irrigate almost everything and it's always out there on the surface. Do you think eventually using drainage tile 07:18 to irrigate will be a thing that you're pushed to do because it's more efficient. You know, we're getting we're in agriculture Community. We're 07:27 getting pushed in a lot of different areas for sustainability reasons, which we should you know, I'm a hundred percent on board with sustainable 07:33 agriculture regenerative agriculture and this gives us the opportunity to get our foot in the door on the irrigation. We use irrigation programs to reduce water. We use 07:42 surface drainage if we can incorporate subsurface if we can make that plant, so instead of running that water down the top of that surface, we're making that 07:51 plan have to reach down and get that moisture from the bottom. Well guess what that does makes the roots bigger. Yep gives more Factor 07:57 there for nutrients. It's just a win-win situation if we can't hundred percent subsurface, but we can have our sole profile full of water. 08:06 Yeah, one of the biggest no-nose in Sharky Clay is run your water too long floods out the soybean before it can before it can capture all the water. Yeah, if we've got 08:15 this old profile already full then instead of that water going out 36 hours. It might go out 10. Yeah, and that's 08:21 a game changer. Yeah. Well, it just seems like maybe it gives Efficiency of water which again? What is what is ADS 08:27 all about water? Yeah. I think we've about hit this. Was there anything you want to talk about from we talk about the irrigation we talked about the drainage we 08:36 talked about the trial we talked about the results economics. So we're still working on the economics it it's got 08:42 a pencil out if it doesn't pencil out. It's not good for anybody. So that's one of the things we're looking at. How long does it take for for water 08:48 to percolate charging clay so that when you are irrigating whether it's through some surface irrigation or it is through fur irrigation, 08:55 they're turning the water on and off at the right time. Matt we're still thinking through this as we watch the results come in. Is there anything I mean, you're a smart 09:04 guy used to be a banker. Is there anything that tells you that the economics won't work out? Not not so far not where we're at 09:10 today even with the drain tile alone not including the subsurface right say that don't work. We get 50% of what we was playing to achieve. Yeah, it's still a payback and 09:19 more importantly it's not just the yield. It seems like you you lengthen your season if you've got a bunch of employees to manage you can use more time all the sudden 09:28 it's kind of almost gives you more leeway on management of the employees. Yeah. It's it's a no-brainer. How could it 09:34 not work? I mean, you're putting an underground drying your system in a Sharky play field unless the soul, you know, 09:40 God God made that so if that Soul says, okay, we're gonna sail over we're not gonna let it go in the tile something like that. We 09:46 have seen yet, you know over the time that we're doing this project. Yeah, maybe we Face the challenge there, but I just can't 09:52 see where it's where it's not gonna work or or be a win-win forever figuring out that so Out as it change this whole profile over time and what 10:01 is it what benefits of that bring? We don't know because nobody's ever done it before more trials coming more Trials come more information 10:07 coming more information. Are you convinced? We're gonna have put more tile in places like McGee Arkansas. I have anything to 10:13 do with it. Her name is Darla Huff. He's Matt miles. One of the original fires of extreme AG if you want to learn more about drainage and 10:19 again, it's not just drainage. It's also irrigation more importantly. It's water management. Yeah, and where 10:25 do they go? Ads ads So next time coming at you from commodity classic from the ads Booth. I'm Damian Mason.

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