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Soil scientist reviews farm tile drainage impact at Cayuga County watershed event

Partners For Healthy Watersheds, a collection of regional and local agricultural groups, hosted a soil science expert Thursday evening at Cayuga Community College for a public session on the impacts of tile drainage on watersheds.

Dr. Eric Young, an agronomist with the Miner Institute of Chazy, a research group that conducts a variety of farming-related field research, gave an overview on tile drainage, which uses underground pipes, or “tiles,” named for their original clay tile design, to lower the water levels in crop fields.

“Drainage to us is really important as a society,” Young said. “Taking care of excess water is something we all need to be aware of.”

Young’s research projects examine the impact of drainage tile use in the Lake Champlain region. Specifically, Young focuses on how runoff of nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, varies on farms with tile drainage compared with those without.

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