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Published June 03, 2013, 10:50 AM

Tiling as a tool

There’s much discussion about the forecast accuracy and the area’s preparations for flooding. While the initial forecasts were worrisome, we’re fortunate that this year wasn’t as challenging as first predicted.

By: Collin Peterson, Agweek

WASHINGTON — As usual in the Red River Valley this time of year, there was a lot of talk about the potential for spring flooding.

There’s much discussion about the forecast accuracy and the area’s preparations for flooding. While the initial forecasts were worrisome, we’re fortunate that this year wasn’t as challenging as first predicted.

The minimal flooding we experienced this spring is partly from dry weather we experienced through the fall, which left room for the moisture from the winter snow and spring rain. I think through modern, controlled tiling systems, we can create the same situation Mother Nature did this past year.

Today’s tiling control structures give farmers the tools to control water, allowing them to move and store water as conditions change.

Tiling not only helps farmers better manage their operation, it helps local communities reduce their flood risk.

Local farmers who have made modern, controlled tiling part of their agriculture management plan have told me they’ve seen an increase in yields.

As spring turns to summer, there are sure to be more reviews of what was done right and what can be improved upon in the future. A valley-wide plan for flood control needs to use all the tools available to us, and I think one of those options must be modern, controlled tiling.

Editor’s Note: Peterson, D-Minn., is ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

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