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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

The Edina soil series of southeastern Iowa and northern Missouri are areas of relatively flat topography and poor internal drainage. For these areas, where the topography and soils permit, surface drainage is the most practical method of removing excess water from the land. One method of surface drainage that has been used on the Edina soils is bedding, in which the field is divided into narrow-width plow lands with the deadfurrows running parallel to the prevailing land slope.

Little is known about the relative returns from investment in a bedding system in comparison with other surface or subsurface drainage methods. Bedding requires that some topsoil be moved to obtain the desired grade for drainage. The effect on crop yields of topsoil removal and movement in land-forming operations such as bedding, however, is not quantitatively understood. It is the general purpose of this bulletin to present and analyze 6 years of corn-yield data involving drainage (bedded versus level), cropping and fertilizer variables from a study on the Southern Iowa Experimental Farm near Bloomfield.

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