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Tracking down tile lines

Kewaunee County knows what it can do to help protect its groundwater, but sometimes it is just a matter of finding the culprit that can be challenging. The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department has been working with farmers this harvest season on ways it can still get its work done efficiently without harming the precious natural resource. Doubling setbacks and splitting its application of manure are just two ways the department is encouraging farmers to operate as it battles for dry days. Complicating things are tile lines installed by farmers as early as the 1930s and 1940s in some cases to remove excess water from the soil. They can be useful if you know where they are and detrimental if you do not. Department Director Davina Bonness says the county is making it a priority to discover where they are so future landowners and renters know where they are located.

Bonness says confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are required by law to include tile lines, inlets, and outlets on their nutrient management plan, but admits it is hard to keep track of something you did not know was there.

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