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New land drainage pipe

Connacht Agri Supplies, Claremorris, has introduced a novel land drainage pipe which does not require pea gravel. The pipe is constructed as a 100% porous polypropylene filtering sleeve. The filter more easily allows in ground water than do the perforations of traditional corrugated plastic pipes, according to Seamus Hessian, company owner. Hence, on free draining soils, there is no need for pea gravel and this lowers the cost of a drainage job. The pipe comes in 6m lengths and has four diameters, covering 50mm to 200mm. For further details, call              087 2447807      .

The pipes are calling for Claremorris entrepreneurial brothers

 July has brought people working theland, back down to earth; since June was so good weather-wise even the wettest corners of fields dried-up to the extent that the largest of tractors and machinery passed over without even a mark. Rainfall in July has been extremely heavy and soft areas on farms again this autumn will be a problem. But don’t worry, help is at hand and you don’t have to travel too far as two Mayo brothers – Seamus and Robert Hession of Connacht Agri Supplies, Claremorris – have been awarded sole distributors for Ireland of ‘New Choice Filtered Drainage Piping’, which is a brand new concept in land drainage in Ireland. Originating in Japan in the 1990s, this system is sold in 22 countries. It works on the concept of clay or tile drainage but without the use of stone or chips. The pipes are made of woven plastic and come in six meter lengths with different diameters. New Choice Drainage Piping works by soaking water directly from the soil. A filter covers the pipe, and the fact that the soil is back filled around the pipe enhances the drainage pressure, directing water via the pipe into the main drain. This system works equally well in peaty soils. This system can be up to 40 per cent less costly, explained Seamus Hession: “We have used it in our own ‘swampland’ and it has come out bone dry. Anyone can visit our farm and see for themselves how moory fields have become fine grazing paddocks. Good reasons for Drainage: Higher Yields and Improved Crop Quality: Yields from over 125 drainage experiments produced the following estimated increase in yield, attributed to sub-surface drainage. Faster Soil Warm-up: Drained fields have the advantage of five to 15 degrees warmer soil temperature. Wet soil is cold soil. Surface evaporation, which has a cooling effect, is reduced. How would you like to sit in cold water all spring? Less Compaction: By drying out faster and not working the ground wet, you have much less chance of creating a compaction problem. Many yield problems can be traced back to compaction problems. If you deep-till a drained field, the chances are better it will stay uncompacted much better than non-drained fields. Larger, Deeper Roots: By lowering the water table in the spring, the roots continue to go down seeking moisture. Draining creates air and water channels to encourage better root growth and soil penetration. By this means, the quantity of nutrients extractable by the plants is maintained at a higher level. Better Soil Aeration: Drained soil can percolate better, allowing water and air to reach the roots. The channels created from water and air moving down through the soil to the drain let it breathe. Roots are just like humans, they need to bring in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Can you relate to how much better you feel every time you get rid of a congested chest? Draining is the decongestant for your soil. More favourable environment for beneficial soil micro-organisms and earthworms: By opening the soil to breathe, all small micro-organisms and earthworms can now thrive. These aerobic organisms are what help make nitrogen and sulfur more available. Allows more days of machinery operation:With faster dry-up and warmer soils, you can get in the fields earlier in the spring for planting, and perform autumn operations later in the year when cool temperatures slow down soil drying. Dry soils allow more timely post emergence applications and limit compaction. Lowers Nitrogen Losses:More nitrogen caused by draining water-logged soils and the better activity of the aerobic organism. Draining dries the soil to create the perfect environment for nitrogen utilisation and aerobic organisms to thrive. How much did you spend on nitrogen this year? I bet it’s not pocket change, you well know that nitrogen is one of the most expensive inputs. Removes Toxins: Certain toxic substances and disease organisms are removed from the soil due to better drainage and aeration. Specifically, it lowers iron and manganese toxicity levels when air can reach these elements. Draining is just like getting rid of a cold! Less Erosion: Soil erosion is reduced by increasing the capacity to hold rainfall and let it percolate through the soil instead of running off. Less erosion allows the fertility levels and soil structure – that you have built for years – to stay intact. One-Time Expense: A one-time cost that pays back year after year with no further investment. Seed, fertilizers and chemicals cost you a bundle every year, machinery breaks down and needs replacing. Drainage rakes in profit and higher yields for the rest of your life. Drainage is the “energizer bunny” of farm investments, it keeps going, and going, and going… The profit is at the top end: It costs virtually the same to farm 120 acres of wet land as it does to farm 120 acres of dry land. As they say, “Good farmers farm good ground.” Draining turns farms into “good ground”.

17 October 2009 Edition

Farmers watch drainage demo

By Paul Mooney

ALSO on the theme of water, there is a lot of interest among farmers in all matters relating to land drainage, after the three wet years. A sizeable number turned up in Mullingar last Friday for a drainage demonstration held by Connacht Agri ltd.

The Claremorris, Co Mayo, based firm was demonstrating its New Choice land drainage pipe, which it says should be laid without any pea gravel or other stone, offering a cost saving.

There are two novel features about the pipe. Whereas, the corrugated plastic pipe in most common use has a solid wall with perforations to allow water in, its wall is a rigid, woven mesh of polypropylene strands.

The resulting open nature of the wall means there is easier entry for water into the hollow core, and it is this, the firm claims, which removes the need for pebble. One reason for the pebble used with standard perforated pipe is to allow water access to the perforations and the pipe, it says.

The second feature is a geomembrane sleeve fitted around the pipe. It is also porous to water right along its length, but it keeps out the silt and particles of clay that would otherwise pass through the open wall into the pipe.

Another difference is that the pipe is rigid, and therefore, cannot come in a long coil. This also changes how it is laid in the ground. It is supplied in 3m and 6m lengths of between 50mm and 200mm diameter.

In Mullingar, Connacht Agri were demonstrating the pipe being laid with a laser guided trencher (see details by Derek Casey on page 40). The trench was dug, the pipe laid and the trench backfilled with a land leveller, without pebble.

The 80mm pipe (just over 3'') sells at €2.84 per metre plus VAT. Trenching would apparently cost another €1 per metre plus VAT, bringing total cost to around €3.43 per metre plus VAT. I estimate that having a contractor lay a 3'' coil pipe topped with 6'' of pebble, using an excavator and stone cart, would cost approximately €5 per metre plus VAT. The Connacht Agri pipe is more than twice the price of yellow, perforated corrugated pipe, which can be bought for about 60c per metre.

However, not using stone and, in this case, the use of a trencher, may outweigh this.

This pipe is on the Irish market for the past 12 months, and is being used on a number of farms. We'll get an idea pretty quickly as to how well it works at draining land.

Note that drainage experts say that land drainage should normally aim at draining away water coming up from below, i.e. the watertable, rather than water coming down from the surface. This means stoning a pipe to the top is not necessarily required.