Wood Fences Built To Stop Washouts
I got tired of fixing soil berms at the bottom of waterways that washed out after heavy rains on our farm near Kenyon, Minn. My neighbor and I had originally built the berms about 3 ft. high behind the tile standpipes, but swirling water eroded the berms leaving big washouts to be repaired almost every year. Hopefully I solved the problem in 2014 on two of the berms by erecting 6-ft. tall wood fences behind the standpipes and in front of the soil berms. One fence is 130 ft. long, with 8-in. posts spaced 10 ft. on center.
  We attached 2 by 8-in. tongue and groove treated pine boards with galvanized deck screws. The longer fence is placed on the center of the property line and the standpipe is about a foot inside the fence on our neighborís land. Itís built to hold water up to 5 ft. deep, which allows at least an hour to drain into the 6-in. tile line.
  We also built a 30-ft. fence on another field to prevent water from running into an old culvert basin. The water seemed to find its way through that area every few years even though we packed dirt in real well when the culvert was removed and planted deep-rooted grass. Hopefully this fixes it permanently. The shorter fence has soil packed level to the top of the wood, about 2 ft. above the stand pipe. The longer fence has soil packed half way up the wall. The 130-ft. long fence is 6 ft. high in the center, trailing to 3 ft. high at the edges. The 4-ft. tall inlet standpipe that feeds directly into the tile line is about a foot inside the fence.
  I used the long fence on this field because my neighbor didnít want a large berm extending into the field creating a big bend in his rows. Soil around both basins was seeded to deep rooting grasses and wildflowers and will be sprayed to kill noxious weeds. Other farmers in the area have used corrugated steel from old grain bins to line catch basins or pack the downside of the basins with large rocks to prevent erosion. Tile contractors say if youíre building a wood fence itís a good idea to leave a small opening about 8 in. high and a foot wide near the top of the fence and 20 ft. from each end to allow overflow.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lorn Manthey, 28280 Holyoke Ct., Northfield, Minn. 55047 (ph 612 986-5570;

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1