– By Brian Hefty

Did you know that corn, soybean, and wheat roots could be 1 foot deep just 1 to 2 weeks after planting?  Even if your soil dries out to some degree in the summertime, how long do your crops suffer from too much moisture?  Think of it this way – all tile does is lower the water table in your field or in areas of your field.  If the water table is high enough to EVER bump into your roots as they’re growing down, they’re going to die very quickly.  That means shallower roots and lower yields.  Period.

I assume you’ve heard Darren and me talking a lot about tiling the last couple of years.  The main reason why is we as farmers have so much opportunity compared to 5 years ago, thanks to high commodity prices.  Where it used to take 5 years to make tile pay, it now takes 1 to 2 years in many cases.  Plus, think of the economic ramifications of installing tile right now on the farm:

a) You get an immediate tax break.
b) Long-term, you’ll get higher yields.
c) Your land is worth more (whatever you invest in the tile, your land will probably bring in more by at least that amount if you ever sell it).
d) You generate more income, which then filters through your community and your state, creating a positive economic impact at a time when our country could use it.  Remember that farming is one of the few industries that actually creates new money.  Service industries don’t do that.  You do.
e) Between the tile industry and the tile installation industry, you create jobs when you install tile or have tile installed for you.

We all know land is really expensive right now, so rather than potentially overpaying for more farm ground, why not make the ground you have better and more productive?  For example, we just did some tiling work for a neighbor on a quarter section.  Grand total the bill was $23,000 including tile and labor.  At a minimum, I believe he’s going to farm 10 more acres of land in this field, and another 30 will produce dramatically more yield.  Even if you figure that he would only gain 10 acres and the whole bill was for 10 acres, which it wasn’t, he basically bought 10 acres for $2300 per acre.  In our area right now to buy top farm land, that would be a steal.  I told our neighbor I’d be absolutely shocked if he didn’t get a 1 year payback on his tile project, but even worst-case scenario, it’ll pay off completely in year 2.

If you’re considering tiling or if you just want to learn more about new technologies and talk to tiling experts for some more tips on how to improve your projects or how to take advantage of new technology, you need to join us for one of the largest and all-encompassing tiling clinics ever conducted this winter.  Our free Ag PhD Tiling Clinics will have break-out sessions with tile plow and tiling software companies, a presentation and Q & A time with one of the top drainage lawyers in the U.S., in-depth information about lift stations and very flat tiling projects, more details on tile design, your chance to visit with our Soil Improvement Specialist (and former NRCS district conservationist) about wetlands and how to work better with the NRCS, new equipment on display, and a host of manufacturer representatives from the tiling industry.

Please register in advance at www.agphd.com so we have enough food and tiling manuals for everyone, as well as enough room in each of our breakout sessions.  Thanks!

All Clinic Times are 9:30 am to 3:30 pm – Click each location below for more information and directions.
Grand Forks, ND Tiling Clinic – Tuesday, January 17
Brookings, SD Tiling Clinic – Tuesday, January 24
Sioux City, IA Tiling Clinic – Thursday, February 2
Des Moines, IA Agronomy & Tiling Clinic – Tuesday, February 14

Click Here to Register for a Tiling Clinic!