April showers bring May flowers. Along with them have come planting delays and other farm level concerns. One benefit that some may not think of is the opportunity to analyze where rain runoff flows.

“Don’t miss the chance to improve your ability to understand water movement in your landscape and better manage risk in wet weather conditions,” said Cornell University’s Karl Czymmek in a recent Pro-Dairy Update. “Get outdoors and spend some time observing runoff from farmstead and fields.”

Watching rainwater flow off of fields and the farm property is an excellent chance to evaluate water movement in the environment. According to Czymmek, there are some areas and flows farms could benefit from studying.

For example, in fields, watching runoff can shed light on parts of the landscape that might be good to avoid during manure application. Additionally, Czymmek recommends looking for locations around the field where investment in erosion protection would improve the overall quality of the field and lower the chance of dangerous runoff.

Every farm deals with its own sets of challenges related to water management whether that is muddy roads, wet fields, or erosion controls. Czymmek would contend that it’s important to assess and manage these areas as they can change over time.

Are there areas of the farm that require more management or protection? Are there places where wet weather conditions are especially poor? While you’re enjoying the spring rains and are unable to get in the fields for planting, ask yourself a few of these questions, and then watch where the water runs.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
April 24, 2017

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