Are you monitoring your drainage?

While recording grass growth on your paddock walks this year, it’s also worth making a note of boggy patches, blocked outfalls and choked ditches. As changing weather patterns bring extremes of rainfall, it’s important that land drainage systems efficiently remove excess water from the grazing platform.

Regular monitoring and routine maintenance are essential to keep a drainage scheme fully operational and avoid replacement costs starting at £1,000/acre. First dig some holes to establish whether you actually have a drainage problem, or a soil compaction one. Then check whether ditches are holding water and need to be cleared of plants.

Make sure that outfalls are running at full bore after a day of heavy rain and aren’t blocked by tree roots, or silted up – and fit vermin guards to culverts. In the absence of any drainage maps, use google earth as a start for an aerial shot of the farm to highlight drainage schemes.

For more information, please see AHDB Drainage Guide.