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Veteran Contributor



Are tiling contractors still booked up in your area? Seems like that was the case last year and in preceding years, where there was lots of tiling done. But I'm wondering if the tight margins are making farmers forego this practice. I know one crop consultant in Minnesota once told me although his farmer-customers would complain about money spent on machinery, seed, fertilizer, etc., the one thing they'd never say is "I spent too much on tile."


Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology Editor

Successful Farming

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2 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: Tiling

Okay, I spent too much on tile -- now, you've heard it.  Local guys seem hard to get, command high prices for their work, don't like small jobs -- so tendency is to do more than necessary while they're here because might be awhile before can get them back to do more, plus it's easier to do all at once.  The effects of inadequate drainage are obvious in the field, while the effects of excessive drainage tiles, if there is such a thing, are not so obvious, at least outside the checkbook.

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Tiling

Tiling contractrs have been very busy the last few years and are hard to get.  I resorted to having them tile in growing soybeans one year in order to get a tiler.  I don't regret it.


I talked to a man last week who had done a lot of tiling in the past and asked him if he planned any more.  Nope, out of money, he said.  It's my guess that tiling contractors might be easier to get this year and even easier in 2017.


On the other hand, about 5 years ago my recollection is that Dr. Matt Helmers of ISU mentioned to me that if I want to tile, I'd better get it done.  I think his implied message was the day would come when it would take a government permit to tile.


My farm is sufficiently tiled.  I know a man who bought a farm last year and put a lot of money into tile on it.


I fly my litttle airiplane around about a 50 miles radius fairly often.  My memory is tht 2014 saw more tile than 2015.  It's too wet to tile yet in 2016.  I'll let y ou know if I see any.

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