Joe Klaus highlights some of the features of the Soil-Max Gold Digger Stealth ZD during the “Where Technology Meets Dirt” Road Tour. “Because of the design of the plow, we pull at least 40 percent easier than any other plow on the market,” Klaus said. Farmers can use the Gold Digger to install four-, six-, eight- or 10-inch tile.
Joe Klaus highlights some of the features of the Soil-Max Gold Digger Stealth ZD during the “Where Technology Meets Dirt” Road Tour. “Because of the design of the plow, we pull at least 40 percent easier than any other plow on the market,” Klaus said. Farmers can use the Gold Digger to install four-, six-, eight- or 10-inch tile.
GOODFIELD, Ill. — Installing tile in a field will take away excess moisture and increase the speed of removing the water.

“Tiling does not take out any more moisture than natural drainage,” said Aaron Friedlein, product manager for Ag Leader Technology. “The field capacity is the amount of moisture left in the soil profile after natural drainage has ended.”

To develop the design of a tiling system, including the size of the tile and where to put it in a field, Friedlein said, it is important to determine the drainage coefficient.

“That is the amount of water that you want to remove from a field in a 24-hour period,” he explained during the “Where Technology Meets Dirt” Road Tour.

“For many field crops, the drainage coefficient is three-eights to a half inch of excess moisture removed in a 24-hour period,” he explained. “For specialty crops, it is from 1 to 2 inches because these crops don’t grow well with wet feet.”

Water Management

Ag Leader offers tools for farmers to assist with water management on their farms.

“Advancements in technology have removed some of the previous limiting factors for doing your own tiling,” Friedlein said. “These tools allow you to do tiling on your schedule and get your farms in shape so they can be more productive long term.”

The ideal soil composition is 45 percent plant material, 25 percent water, 25 percent air and 5 percent organic matter, he noted.

“When there is moisture being held in the soil profile in the springtime, the corn plants will have shallow roots,” he said. “In tiled fields, the roots go down to get the moisture and then you have larger root mass and deeper roots.”

Some farmers are concerned they don’t have enough time to do tiling projects for their fields.

“You can invest time in putting in tile so that in future years you have more time to get the crop in and out of the field,” Friedlein said. “If you invest time up front, then you will have easier logistics down the road.”

Cost of a tiling project can deter the completion of the work.

“You pay for tile whether you have it installed or not because you lose yield on fields not tiled,” Friedlein said.

“I’ve seen studies of up to a 40-bushel per acre gain with tiling, and at $4 per bushel, that’s $160 per acre in gained revenue from tiling,” he said. “You’ll enjoy that 40-bushel gain year after year, although some years it will be bigger than others.”

Software Link

Ag Leader’s SMS Software can be used to help design tiling systems.

“Our software looks at information like elevation, size of tiles and how much area is coming into the main,” Friedlein said. “It provides you exact numbers.”

For example, he said, the computer program will examine the soil texture throughout the soil profile of the field.

“It gives you a warning if the velocity is too slow,” he added. “That helps you make sure you install a proper tile system.”

Ag Leader provides several opportunities for training to assist farmers with their projects.

“We have support available to help you with your questions,” Friedlein said. “We also have training resources on the Internet including YouTube videos, and we offer webinars.”

Plow Advances

“We’ve worked hard the last couple of years to build a dealer network that understands our tile plow and can teach you how to use the plow,” said Joe Klaus, as he talked about the Soil-Max Gold Digger Stealth ZD. “Within two days of owning the plow, you’ll be comfortable.”

The major difference between the Soil-Max tile plow and other plows, Klaus said, is the design of the shank.

“Our plow cuts through the ground and lifts the soil profile for the entire depth of the cut,” he explained.

“Because of the design of the plow, we pull at least 40 percent easier than any other plow on the market,” he claimed.

Farmers can use the Gold Digger to install four-, six-, eight- or 10-inch tile, and they only have to change three components to switch to different size tile.

“You change the shear that forms the trench, the sides that help form the trench and the boot,” Klaus explained.

“One of the big differences that separates us from the rest of the market is the tile plow was designed at the same time as the software that guides it,” he noted.

For more information about Ag Leader Technology, see www.agleader.com.