NCR207 Multi-State Research Committee:  

Drainage Design and Management Practices

To Improve Water Quality



1.      Evaluate the effectiveness of alternative drainage design and operational practices, to reduce nitrate-N losses from drained agricultural lands.

2.      Assess the impact of various soil and crop management practices on reducing nitrate-N loadings to subsurface drains.

3.      Assess the need for further research in other aspects of water quality from drained agricultural lands, including the emerging issues of pathogens and phosphorus from manure applications.

4.      Develop drainage guides and other extension materials, and work with state and federal action agencies, to assist in implementation of improved design and management practices for subsurface drainage systems.

Expected Outcomes of the Multi-State Research Committee

  • Coordination of research programs in drainage design and management for reduced nitrate-N losses in subsurface drains.
  • Exchange of information about research studies on soil and crop management practices to reduce nitrate-N losses to tiles.
  • Identification and coordination of key research needed to reduce pesticides, pharmaceuticals, pathogens, and phosphorus losses from drained lands.
  • Publication of joint research articles on nitrate-N losses to tile drains in studies from several states.
  • New extension materials to support the implementation of improved management practices on drained lands.


Background on the water quality concerns that led to formation of the NCR-207 Committee, with a brief survey of published literature.


More information on Objectives



The official Web site for NCR-207 (NIMSS)


Members and Participants

Members are researchers from land-grant universities and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. List of members, affiliation, and expertise


2006-7 Chair: Dr. Gary Sands, University of Minnesota

Secretary: Dr. Richard Cooke, University of Illinois 

Past Officers

Annual Meetings

2007 Annual Meeting

Raleigh, North Carolina

1:00 pm April 17, 2007 to Noon, April 19, 2007.

Meeting Registration Web Site

Contact: Gary Sands


2006 Annual Meeting

Date: Monday 03/27/06 to Wednesday 03/29/06
Location: Ames, Iowa

Meeting Minutes


2005 Annual Meeting

Date: 08/15/05 to 08/17/05
Location: Minneapolis, MN.

Meeting Minutes


2004 Annual Meeting

Date: 11/16/04 to 11/17/04
Location: New Orleans, LA

Meeting Minutes


For more information, contact Gary Sands, University of Minnesota, Chair for 2007


Web site maintained by Jane Frankenberger, Purdue University 


NCR207 is affiliated with the North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors