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Case Study - Longer lasting ditches, Sunny Point Farms, Noel, Nova Scotia

“The ditches were cleaned without harming the surrounding land in our farm’s operation. The narrow, longer lasting and more durable ditch better controls the flow of water. This is not available when done with the bucket and trucking method.”

Ditch Doctor at Sunny Point Farms, before image.

BEFORE - Although the main ditch channel was still viable the lower channel and side walls required maintenance

Ditch Doctor at Sunny Point Farms, controlled distribution of spoil.

AFTER - “The Ditch Doctor® was able to distribute the spoil evenly without harming the surrounding land. Something the traditional bucket and trucking method is not able to do”

Ditch Doctor at Sunny Point Farms, Two-Stage ditch required maintenace.

BEFORE - Although the main ditch channel was still viable the lower channel and side walls required maintenance.

Ditch Doctor at Sunny Point Farms, Two-Stage ditch restored.

AFTER - “The narrow, longer lasting and more durable ditch better controls the flow of water.”

Phillip Vroegh is the third generation owner of Sunny Point Farms, a dairy farm located in the beautiful area of Noel, Nova Scotia. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather the care and comfort of over 250 cows has always been a top priority at the farm, and it shows. Sunny Point Farms is well respected and recognized for its high production rate per cow.

“Ensuring fields have the opportunity to grow healthy and intact, providing top quality nutrition from the hay produced on the farm is important for our livestock that produce commodities for our bodies, such as the milk that comes from Sunny Point Farms” says Phillip Vroegh.

Those fields on the farm were often wet at the beginning and end of the growing season as is the case for many farms in Atlantic Canada. Conventional ditching methods using a bucket and trucking had a tendency to take out more land than was necessary. This method often expanded the width each time the channel was cleared for maintenance and with significant damage to the fields during the process. The wider and more open the ditch, the greater likelihood the stream takes a course of its own by eroding a path of its own. The change in shape and direction of a once straight ditch causes problems with water drainage prematurely.

Ditch Doctor® had visited Sunny Point Farms several years ago to improve this drainage system by cleaning out the ditches in such a way that did not harm the surrounding land used in the farms operations. With just one excavator and a Ditch Doctor® the fields were protected from damage that arises from conventional ditching methods. A narrow lower main channel ditch was created that better controlled the flow of water. These longer lasting and more durable ditches are better able to control the flow of water at Sunny Point Farms.

Five years after the original work most areas were still viable although some were showing signs maintenance was required. It was time to touch up the ditch where the lower main channel was becoming filled with silt and vegetation. The ergonomically designed Ditch Doctor® was used again to create a steep edged lower main channel while maintaining the slopes of the ditch. Only the lower main channel was targeted with the spoil evenly distributed in a controlled fashion. This ditch contour maintains the path of the stream, reducing the tendency of water to take a path of its own desire. The more the water follows the intended path, the more the ditch is able to clean itself out.

The Ditch Doctor® was faster, more cost effective and kinder to the local environment. After just one hour with an excavator and the Ditch Doctor® 235 meters of ditch was maintained. The narrow, longer lasting and more durable ditch that better controls the flow of water was quickly re established. The vegetation on the slopes and the banks that prevents premature erosion back in to the ditch was not disturbed and the entire area recovered soon after.

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