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These photos were taken in the spring and early summer of 2019.  It was a very wet start to the planting season, causing many farmers to get into the fields late, some even having to replant or to change their crop rotation. This is just one of the challenges that they face each season.

To help with this problem, many farmers place field tile in their fields, allowing excess water to drain from the fields, allowing them to dry out quicker, allowing earlier planting, plus it also helps to control erosion. It also helps to keep nutrients and fertilizers to stay in the ground where they can do their jobs, as well as keeping our water supply clean and free of chemicals.

Don Murphy, of Black Diamond Farms,  the gentleman that farm's Mom's farm placed field tile at the end of the 2019 crop season, and the results were amazing. For the 2020 season, he was in the fields about 3 weeks sooner, and he did not have to replant any of the fields on the farm.

A little fyi on how much water is involved, with a 1 inch rain, it adds up to over 27000 gallons of water on each acre of ground. That is a lot of water. You can see why drainage is an important part of maintaining a farm.

We often see farmers out in the fields, planting, or harvesting, but we don't think about all the other stuff that goes into getting a crop every year. There are so many variables, the weather, equipment issues, seed and fertilizer costs, fuel costs, labor and maintenance, not to mention the paperwork, and regulations that they have to deal with. My hat is tipped to all the guys and gals who, despite all of this, and the unpredictable weather, they still get up every day and do what it takes to get that crop in the ground, helping to keep America a leader in the world when it comes to food production. They deserve a lot more credit than they often get. And, after having the opportunity to tag along with Don and his crew when they placed the field tile, and for a bit during the 2020 harvest, I have a new appreciation for what they do, and it has me wanting to learn more about the whole process. It makes me a little envious of the job they have. The view out of their "office" window is one that is worth all of the trials and tribulations that they face every year.

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