While we typically see yield gains of 15% to 25%, we have also worked with many farmers who have doubled their yields in short order after tiling. Long-term, tile will absolutely pay for itself in almost every single case. In our operation, more than half the tile we have installed over the years has had a one-year payback.
EARLIER SPRING WARM-UP
Air warms up faster than water. If you have more air in your soil thanks to tile, your ground will warm up more quickly so you can farm it earlier in the season. When you can start planting earlier each spring, that means you can – if you want to – raise later-maturing crops which typically yield more. Plus, if you farm many acres, it’s nice being able to go to a field and farm it, rather than constantly having to find the perfect day based on whether or not the soil finally dried out.
VERY SLOWLY REDUCE HIGH MAGNESIUM LEVELS
Excess magnesium (over 20% in the base saturation test) means more compaction, less efficient plant use of nitrogen and potassium, and higher pH levels. If you have good drainage, you can eventually lower magnesium levels in soils.
SPEED ALL FIELD OPERATIONS FROM PLANTING TO HARVEST
My favorite thing about tiling is it makes farming fun again. Instead of going around wet holes, getting stuck, replanting, running back to a field three times to finish spraying because you had to wait for areas to dry out, etc., you can go to a field, complete a task on the entire field, and go home.
FEWER STUCK SITUATIONS, BREAKDOWNS, AND REPAIR COSTS
Getting stuck is no fun. Plus, it’s very dangerous when you start pulling on equipment to get it out. My dad was always super big on safety, and if there was anything he could do to reduce our safety risk on the farm, he spent the money and did it. It only takes one time with things going wrong to change your life. It’s not worth it. Fix the drainage issue.
LESS CHANCE FOR SOIL COMPACTION
This one is pretty obvious, but if you have better sub-surface drainage, that means there will be more air in the soil and less chance for that soil to compact whenever you cross the field.
FEWER SEED & SEEDLING DISEASES
Excess moisture means more disease issues. When plants do not have the proper balance of air and water, they endure stress. More stress means lower disease tolerance for all plants.