Organized drainage districts in Iowa include approximately 6 million acres of land, representing an original investment of over $75,000,000. There are 18,519 miles of public drainage improvements (ditches, tile lines and levees). There is no record of the immense amount of private drainage work which has been done in Iowa, but it probably is far greater in extent and is more evenly spread over the state than the public drainage improvement. In spite of this, many thousands of acres of crops were lost or badly damaged in 1942 and 1943 because of inadequate drainage.
Production of food can be increased by bringing into production much low, level and fertile Iowa land which is not being farmed because it is too wet. Efficiency in production also can be increased. Countless seepy hillsides in the rolling sections of the state are unproductive and interfere greatly with field operation of equipment.
Van Vlack, C. H. and Norton, R. A.
"Tile drainage for increased production,"
Bulletin P: Vol. 3
, Article 1.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletinp/vol3/iss65/1