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Wrong Don Pitts?

Don Pitts

Engineer

U.S. Department of Agriculture

HQ Phone:  (202) 720-2791

Direct Phone: (217) ***-****direct phone

Email: d***@***.gov

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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia,20250

United States

Company Description

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-...more

Background Information

Employment History

Agricultural Engineer

NRCS Inc


Associate Editor for the Soil and Water Division

American Society of Agricultural Engineers


Irrigation and Drainage Engineer

University of Florida


Affiliations

Rivers Institute at Hanover College

Planning Committee Member


Education

MS

Agricultural Engineering

University of Arkansas


PhD

Agricultural Engineering

University of Arkansas


Web References(18 Total References)


Agricultural Drainage Management: Benefits Could Range from the Bin to the Gulf

www.ctic.org [cached]

"The first step was to drain the land so it was farmable," notes Don Pitts, state water and air quality specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Champaign, Ill. "Now it's time to manage that drainage."
For cost-efficiency's sake, Pitts likes to see each control structure manage a zone of the field of at least 20 acres. Even now, Pitts notes that some growers are willing to put in the extra structures to manage smaller zones, and to put in the extra time to adjust more stop logs. Don Pitts of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service state office in Champaign, Ill., says retrofitting existing pattern tile drainage systems on an ideal slope can run $50 to $150 per acre. If extensive re-plumbing is required - for instance, to run laterals along the contours and make mains and control structures accessible along the field edge - costs can go up significantly, he says.


ET Connections

www.irrigation.org [cached]

Don Pitts USDA - NRCS, 1902 Fox Dr., Champaign, IL 61820, Phone (217) 398-5285


Worm Digest - Soil Moisture Managed with Tiles

www.wormdigest.org [cached]

Drainage tile systems, which cost about $500 an acre to install, "aerate the soil to provide a proper root environment and allow producers to access the field," noted Don Pitts, agricultural engineer, National Resources Conservation Service in Illinois.
Pitts spoke at InfoAg 2005 in Springfield, Ill., in July. The latter could have a negative impact on the environment, according to Pitts. "Nitrates can enter the drinking supply in local areas. In lakes and reservoirs, nitrogen is a contributor to atrophic conditions. There is also the national concern over Gulf hypoxia." Pitts noted that in a typical Illinois stream "the flow-weighted concentrations of nitrogen seem to be increasing over time. The amount of the rain that falls in this area determines the size of the hypoxia zone in the Gulf. Excess nitrogen is the primary cause. "The primary pathway for water to leave central Illinois is by tile line, and these tile lines have been associated with high nitrate levels in streams," Pitts said. "This relationship exists in the other Midwest states also. So the problem is that we need drainage for crop production, but it has a significant negative environmental impact." Studies show nitrates in tile water at concentrations of 10 to 25 parts per million, according to Pitts. At 50 sites where the boards are being used, nitrate load was reduced by at least half, according to Pitts. Here's how the system could work for farmers, according to Pitts. Many new tile systems being installed today are low-cost alternatives, according to Pitts. "They run the lateral lines down grade. These can't be managed as well." Pitts suggests that lateral lines be laid on the contours. "Think about how flood irrigation systems are designed in the Mid-South. We also have to be able to access the tile structures. That's becoming easier because we have automated control devices that can be programmed to move four times a year at three elevations or on any elevation based on rainfall and other factors." Pitts said the control structure, if managed properly, will not restrict root development, compact soil, blow out or silt-in tiles, which were concerns of cooperating growers. The researchers also conducted research on the design's impact on earthworms. "We did a study with Purdue University on two fields, one managed for high water, the other not managed. We counted earthworms for three years and found that the managed field had more earthworms." The bottom line is that once water leaves a field, "you can't get it back," Pitts said.


Features Vol 47 No 3 - "Drainage Management Pays Off"

landandwater.com [cached]

Don Pitts and Richard Cooke host members of the Ag Drainage Management Task Force on a tour of a University of IL Controlled Drainage research site.
Don Pitts and Richard Cooke host members of the Ag Drainage Management Task Force on a tour of a University of IL Controlled Drainage research site. Don Pitts, an agricultural engineer and water quality specialist, with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Illinois, is concerned about drainage management. NRCS is working with more than 30 Illinois farmers to install water level control structures, most of which are placed in existing tile systems. Pitts says, "We're using drainage management so as to minimize the water flow through the tile when we don't have crops in the ground.


Drain Tiling | Midwest Drainage

mwdrainage.com [cached]

"The first step was to drain the land so it was farmable," notes Don Pitts, state water and air quality specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Champaign, Ill. "Now it's time to manage that drainage."


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