Conservation drainage seminar set for Thursday

Published 7:06 am Monday, March 18, 2013

Two of the foremost experts in the field of drainage law and conservation drainage research will speak at a free seminar for local agricultural producers from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 21 at the Austin Holiday Inn.

Cedar River Watershed and Turtle Creek Watershed districts are co-hosting the event.

Rinke Noonan attorney Kurt Deter, who has decades of experience in drainage law and covers the state litigating drainage law, will speak with Gary Sands, a University of Minnesota associate professor and engineer who has done extensive research on conservation drainage as it applies to agricultural sustainability.

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Sands will discuss how conservation drainage practices can improve water quality and provide economic benefits to ag producers. Seminar speakers also will discuss innovative conservation practices developed to reduce nitrate in drainage tile lines. Extensive research has been done, and experts are finding new ways to clean water in drainage tiling while making the land more productive.

The Cedar River and Turtle Creek Watershed districts are special-purpose government units charged with improving water quality and reducing flood damage. They also focus on drainage issues, and the Turtle Creek Watershed District manages public drainage systems.