Mole Drainage

So….. question from someone who has come of chalk down land that never really needed draining. We are now living in central France with some very different ground to what I have been used to. During the winter the ground quickly water logs and takes a long time to dry in the spring. The farm is rented and the landlord highly unlikely to pay for drainage. I am not I clin3d to pay for it either. I have no experience of mole ploughing but was wondering if it would provide a low cost solution to my problem? I know it would need redoing every few years but on a rotational basis that is ok. My question is does it work? I keep reading on here that it is for going over the top of proper drains, does it work as a stand alone solution on a temporary basis and if so how temporary is temporary?
 

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
4D29B0AF-FE0B-4E11-AD0C-1AC82E16DD78.jpeg
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
So….. question from someone who has come of chalk down land that never really needed draining. We are now living in central France with some very different ground to what I have been used to. During the winter the ground quickly water logs and takes a long time to dry in the spring. The farm is rented and the landlord highly unlikely to pay for drainage. I am not I clin3d to pay for it either. I have no experience of mole ploughing but was wondering if it would provide a low cost solution to my problem? I know it would need redoing every few years but on a rotational basis that is ok. My question is does it work? I keep reading on here that it is for going over the top of proper drains, does it work as a stand alone solution on a temporary basis and if so how temporary is temporary?
Does the land have a natural fall?
Moling can help obviously.
However it's possible to drain quite cheaply if you have a natural fall. I made my own drainer which lays 60mm perforated pipe about 21 inches deep, I can even put some pea shingle over the pipe now as I go.

If you intend staying a while it'd be a good investment.
DSC_2441.JPG

That's the pipe I use.
Although I used 50m coils.
These 150m coils would be better as less joints to mess about with.
I reckon the cube of pea shingle does 50-75m.
So two cubes to a coil.
So in the region of £200 / 150m.
It will transform the land.
 
How do you farm your wetland , do you winter stock it , what stock do you have ? What crops ?
Just cereals or grass, too wet in the winter for stock to be out on the wet bits. I would like the bits in question to be cereals but in three years here I have now lost 2 cereal crops in the winter. 1 of barley was understandable the one of triticale which is supposed to be better with wet feet was a surprise and shows how wet it sits for months at a time in the late winter early spring.
 
So to answer some comments, which I have to say have all been very helpful so thank you all.
It all has a fall of varying degrees and all of the fields have ditches that I can drain to. I will check the subsoil but I believe it to be clay. I looked at the cost of tile ploughs and for what I need they are way too dear. Making/adapting something might be worth a shot, @Badshot can you put a picture of what you have made up please?
 
Location
Ceredigion
Just cereals or grass, too wet in the winter for stock to be out on the wet bits. I would like the bits in question to be cereals but in three years here I have now lost 2 cereal crops in the winter. 1 of barley was understandable the one of triticale which is supposed to be better with wet feet was a surprise and shows how wet it sits for months at a time in the late winter early spring.
We have 150 acre of land that water logs ,peat over blue clay , would not dream of growing crops on it , the last time they tried was in the war the lost a binder in the peat that was never recovered, used to be you could hardly get a tractor across it in the hight of summer , it's now stocked most of the year when we are not cutting silage from it ,
The right grass seed on it, please no digs on selling seed , we never put the cattle on it only in very dry weather , sheep are part of the answer, but the main point if you have have an intesive growing grass the water offtake is over 8000 gallons acre day , but needs to be a dense sward that supports stock in winter when it's waterlogged,
Fields have never been moled or drained ,
Sorry not much help to you if your growing crops mind , Maybe consider grassing it down and getting some sheep in it
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
So to answer some comments, which I have to say have all been very helpful so thank you all.
It all has a fall of varying degrees and all of the fields have ditches that I can drain to. I will check the subsoil but I believe it to be clay. I looked at the cost of tile ploughs and for what I need they are way too dear. Making/adapting something might be worth a shot, @Badshot can you put a picture of what you have made up please?
There's some videos of it working on my YouTube channel. (In my signature)

I'll hunt for some pics.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Thanks to land laws, tenants obligations, enclosures etc. our soils haver been managed in a far superior fashion to most of Europe. Particularly France where little attention was paid to land before the revolution. The British government recognised the importance of feeding this island nation far earlier and encouraged underdrainage etc.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
So to answer some comments, which I have to say have all been very helpful so thank you all.
It all has a fall of varying degrees and all of the fields have ditches that I can drain to. I will check the subsoil but I believe it to be clay. I looked at the cost of tile ploughs and for what I need they are way too dear. Making/adapting something might be worth a shot, @Badshot can you put a picture of what you have made up please?
It's based on an old Ransomes subsoiler.
A straight down mole leg would be better.
 
Morning Matt,
Don't do what the French do, that is use a sub-soiler leg with an expander on the back.
IT WILL COLLAPSE!! Get a proper mole leg and expander.
Search for a draineuse on Google and/or YouTube
Good morning
I will have a look, I am thinking that if I redo them every few years it would be worth buying a mole drainer. The plastic drains would be fine if I was doing our own but on rented not so sure.
 
DO NOT mole unless you have stone back filled drains that work... all you will do is get more water to the low parts quicker, you could subsoil with the contours to make voids under neath to get water off the surface in wet months.
No functioning drains to speak of but all fields have reasonable fall to a ditch. Would it not work if I drained from the ditch out into the field?
 

fudge

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire.
I’ll have my 2 pence worth. If water logging is bad enough for cereal crops to be lost I think under draining is the way to go. Mole ploughing alone will struggle to make enough difference. On our flat marsh land that will hold a mole for 3/4 years 40 meter drain spacing works well IMO. The drains greatly speed up the movement of water which reduces puddling. Obviously once you have puddles neither moles or drains are as effective since the surface becomes impermeable.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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