Abstract: Drained croplands are some of the most productive lands in the world, but nitrate and phosphorus losses through tile drains contribute to eutrophication, and our conventional tile drainage systems do not address the fact that drained lands can experience both water excess and water deficit within a year. Storing drained water within the landscape, and potentially recycling it back onto crops, could increase the sustainability of water for agriculture, particularly as intense rainfall and prolonged summer drought are expected to increase under future climate change. This presentation will discuss innovative drainage systems that can mitigate these issues, our research to determine and increase their effectiveness, and engagement with the drainage industry and agricultural producers to advance strategies that increase resiliency and reduce nutrient losses from drained agricultural land.
Bio: Jane Frankenberger is a Professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Her research focuses on agricultural watershed management, developing drainage and agricultural water management strategies to reduce nutrient losses from subsurface drained land. Currently she leads a 9-state project to increase the retention and recycling of drainage water for greater resilience of drained agricultural land (http://transformingdrainage.org). She engages with the drainage industry and agricultural producers as well as agencies, for example as visiting scientist at USDA-NIFA and USEPA and science advisor for USDA-NRCS, to advance transformations in drainage practice to improve water quality and increase resilience.