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Options in drainage design
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[JAN. 26, 2004]  URBANA -- This year the Illinois regional "What's New in Drainage?" seminars will help producers, landowners, crop advisers and agricultural consultants evaluate the benefits and options for a variety of agricultural drainage systems. Six seminars will be presented in February at various locations across Illinois, and certified crop advisers who attend these seminars will be able to earn continuing education units -- four in soil and water management and one in professional development.

"Helping participants understand the production benefits and costs of different drainage options will be a common theme of all the presentations," said Stanley Solomon, U of I Extension engineering technology educator. Experts in drainage management from the University of Illinois will be on hand to discuss the various aspects of agricultural drainage. Speakers include:

--Bill Simmons, associate professor in natural resources and environmental sciences. Simmons will present "Drainage Concepts," focusing on the impact of subsurface and surface drainage on production and the ecosystem. Simmons' presentation will help producers evaluate the production benefits of drainage systems versus cost.

--Richard Cooke, associate professor in agricultural and biological engineering. Cooke will present "Drainage System Design and Layout," a discussion of design principles, new design information and his current research. Cooke has done extensive research on the effect that tile depth and spacing has on drainage performance, and he is currently studying the effect of depth and spacing on the transport of nitrates. The economics and performance of different systems will be a part of this discussion.

--Mike Hirschi, professor in agricultural and biological engineering. Hirschi will discuss ways to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous loss through drainage management in "Constituents of Tile Water -- N & P Issues." Reducing these losses could reduce input cost and improve yields.

--Don Uchtmann, professor in agriculture and consumer economics. Uchtmann will present an overview of the Illinois drainage law.

The program will be rounded out with presentations on farm bill implications and a contractors' panel, said Solomon.

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The seminars will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with registration from 8 to 8:45 a.m. The registration fee of $25 is due one week before a meeting and includes a noon luncheon and take-home materials. Registration for the first seminar is due Feb. 4.

Here are the dates, locations and contact information for each seminar:

Feb. 11, Rend Lake College, Ina -- Send registrations to Franklin Extension Unit, 1212 Route 14 West, Benton, IL 62812. Phone (618) 439-3178.

Feb. 13, Hancock County Extension office, Carthage -- Send registrations to Hancock Extension Unit, 550 N. Madison, Carthage, IL 62321. Phone (217) 357-2150.

Feb. 16, Countryside Banquet Facilities, East Peoria -- Send registrations to Woodford Extension Unit, P.O. Box 162, Eureka, IL 61530. Phone (309) 467-3789.

Feb. 17, Holcomb State Bank, Rochelle -- Send registrations to Ogle Extension Unit, 421 Pines Road, Suite 10, Oregon, IL 61061. Phone (815) 732-2191.

Feb. 19, Kankakee County Extension office, Bourbonnais -- Send registrations to Kankakee Extension Unit, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais, IL 60914. Phone (815) 933-8337.

Feb. 20, Christian County Extension office, Taylorville -- Send registrations to Christian Extension Unit, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL 62568. Phone (217) 287-7246.

For more information, contact your local University of Illinois Extension office; phone Solomon at the East Peoria Extension Center, (309) 694-7501, ext. 223; or send an e-mail request to him at jssolomo@uiuc.edu.

[University of Illinois news release]

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