Land Drainage is important in fertile soil to keep the balance between air and water suitable for healthy root development in order to maintain economic crop production.
Some crops are particularly sensitive and can be killed even during periods of saturation as short as 24 hours making efficient drainage critical.
Excessive soil water will:
– Restrict aeration of the soil. This denies the soil microorganisms and plant roots the oxygen needed for respiration, and induces the accumulation of toxic substances which are harmful to the plant.
– Retard the rise in soil temperature in spring, a critical growth stage, when all crops respond to warmer soil temperatures.
– Lower the bearing capacity of the soil. This can result in either cultivations being delayed or soil being damaged by cultivation under the wrong conditions. In addition soil structure is damaged by plugging.
– Aggravate nitrogen deficiency in crops and pastures.Limit depth of root penetration, thereby reducing the crop’s resistance to drought