ISU researchers studying effects of new tile systems on state waterways and crops

Local News

Researchers at Iowa State University say Iowa’s infrastructure is crumbling and state it needs an overhaul, not just for our safety, but also for the environment.

A team of researchers from Iowa State University say drainage tiles protecting crops from water runoff are starting to become worn down.

These tiles run under millions of acres of farmland and their worsening condition can impact crop production as well as the purity of Iowa’s waterways.

Researchers are working on new tile systems they hope will eventually be installed in farm fields across Iowa.

“These drainage acres– they were designed as a different cropping system. They were installed in the early 1900s and since then, Iowa has become a lot wetter. Really our drainage system in the state needs an upgrade,” says Michael Castellano, and ISU professor.

They say the new tile systems they are working on could help eliminate harmful nitrates that flow away from the fields into rivers and streams.

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