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Soil moisture is a constant issue for farmers. There always seems to be either not enough, or too much.  As I mentioned in another gallery, a one inch rain over 1 acre of ground converts to over 27000 gallons of water. That is a lot of water, many times it is exactly what is needed, other times, it may mean a replant, or at the very least, a diminished crop. If allowed to run off into the  ditches or what ever drainage is available, applied chemicals and fertilizers can be washed away and into our lakes and streams.

When these chemicals are lost in runoff, they end up polluting our lakes and streams, and their value to the farmer is diminished, maybe even causing the need for additional applications. It is easy to see that this is not a good thing for the farmer, and for us. It increases cost, and it makes it harder to supply fresh, clean water to consumers.

Another problem with having excess water just run off of the field is erosion. The lost of good topsoil is also a major concern for farmer, and when soil washes off of the fields, again, just like the chemicals and fertilizers, it ends up in our lakes in streams, building up and causing our water sources to fill in and diminish in size. Another serious problem for both the farmer and the consumer.

One way to combat these problems is the placement of field tile. Field tile will drain off the excess water, and it can be directed to a waterway or stream, free of the nutrients and topsoil that would otherwise wash away.

I had the opportunity to visit Don Murphy (Black Diamond Farms) and  his crew as he placed field tile on Mom's farm. It was another very interesting experience and again, it is easy to say why farmers do what they do. It is hard work, it is rewarding, and at the end of the day, you can certainly see what you have or have not accomplished during the day.

Again, I can't say enough for the farmers and what they do. I also know that when you have a tenant farming your ground, when you get one that cares about the soil and about the environment that he works in, you have a commodity that has so much value that it is hard to quantify. I am dedicating this gallery to Don and his crew, for all that they do, day in and day out. 

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