Many conservation practices are promoted and implemented on agricultural land. One that has proven effective and is gaining recognition is conservation drainage.
The term “conservation drainage” describes practices that can reduce nitrate loads on tile-drained soils, including modifying drainage system design and operation, wood chip bioreactors, and modifications to the drainage ditch system. Vegetative buffers cannot serve as filters if the water is draining past them through ditches or pipes. This leads to missed opportunities for conservation practices that achieve both production and environmental goals. Conservation drainage is a practice that is compatible with agricultural production, and can provide a good return on investment.