Harvest Time: Maintenance and Repairs During Busy Season

harvest time

The harvest must go on

Anyone with the slightest background in agriculture knows that harvest season is the busiest time for farmers. In Indiana, we have a strong agriculture heritage known for supplying wheat, oats, rye, alfalfa, corn, and soybeans to the rest of our nation, and to remote parts of the world. Sleep is unheard of at harvest time—every waking moment is devoted to bringing the crops in on time.

Humidity levels, time of day, weather and proper operation of machinery and equipment are just a few of the factors that must be constantly monitored to harvest a crop at its peak. We understand the urgency that drives you during this time of year, and we know the last thing you have time for is a malfunction in your drainage system, a burst waterline or a backed-up septic tank at home.

Your crops keep growing, and the harvest must go on!

You can depend on Shankster Bros.

Unfortunate events often choose the worst possible time to present themselves. For a farmer, harvest season is that time. When you call us with a problem—be it farm drainage, pipes or septic—we respond quickly and work efficiently to get your harvest up and running again. We have enough agricultural experience to know that, sometimes, your very livelihood depends on it.

Maybe you’re in the middle of cutting alfalfa and your swather sinks where a new drainage system was installed just a few years ago. You need emergency maintenance service, and you need it now.

Maybe you’ve been in the field all day bringing in the wheat crop, and your wife calls to tell you she found flooding in the house basement. You need emergency septic service, ASAP.

Or, maybe you just got the last of the corn harvested before last night’s storm, but when you get up in the morning, you find that your great grandfather’s old rotting barn has blown over. Debris is blocking your driveway, and you need emergency demolition service, fast.

Don’t fret! Instead, call us with your problem. We’ll be there before you can say, “Busy season.”

SHANKSTER BROS. | (260)-982-7111Email us

Crop Irrigation and Drainage System and Responsible Farm Water Use

Crop Irrigation

Crop Irrigation and Drainage Systems = Responsible Water Use

Agriculture in Indiana

Agriculture is the largest industry in the state of Indiana, and Indiana is one of the top agricultural states in the nation. Unlike some states, drought isn’t usually a problem as we’ve been blessed with an ample supply of water. However, over-saturation and lack of drainage can be a problem.

Why good drainage is important

Water is good—yes—but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and in agriculture, too much water is a very bad thing. Without adequate soil drainage, water surplus can cause soil erosion, stunted root growth, crop nutrition deficiency, and a decline in crop production. Because of naturally occurring land formation and soil conditions, only about half of Indiana’s cropland is able to utilize natural drainage processes. The other half relies on artificial irrigation and drainage and this is an issue.

How artificial irrigation drainage can benefit your crops

All soil is made up of particles like silt, sand, clay, and decomposed plant matter. Root systems grow in the spaces between the particles. Space between the soil particles is sparse and can become oversaturated if exposed to prolonged periods of excess water, suffocating, and eventually killing the root systems. The purpose of artificial drainage is to give your excess water somewhere to go; making room for air between the soil particles, improving aeration, and allowing oxygen to reach your crop’s roots.

Different kinds of artificial drainage

Two kinds of artificial drainage are commonly used for agriculture in Indiana: surface drainage and subsurface drainage. At Shankster Bros., we specialize in both methods, as most fields require a combination of the two.

Surface drainage is a method used to keep excess water from pooling on the soil’s surface. Techniques used include leveling land, building surface inlets into subsurface drains, and creating ditches and waterways.

Subsurface drainage, on the other hand, most often uses perforated tubes, or “tiles” to drain excess water from the soil. In this method, perforated tubes are buried 2-4 feet below the surface of the soil. When water levels become higher than the depth at which the tubes have been buried, the overflow drains into the tubes and away from your field.

Artificial drainage and the environment

When Indiana was first settled, wetlands made up much of the landscape. This posed an issue for human inhabitants, including vast swarms of mosquitos and dangerous bouts of malaria. Using artificial drainage, most of the original wetlands have been drained away, leaving rich, fertile soil in its place.

Two of the benefits that have come from draining the wetlands are better public health and good crop soil. Even though results have been positive, it’s important that every farmer consider longevity and environmental impact when installing artificial drainage. Installing artificial drainage without considering the long-term health of the surrounding landscape is not only thoughtless, but it’s also irresponsible.

It’s important to maintain a healthy environment for both moral and practical levels. Short-term fixes will not sustain future crops and agriculture—the industry that feeds our families and communities.

Finding a professional to install an artificial water system the right way

We live in a state where abundant water supply is normal, but let’s use it wisely. Responsible irrigation and drainage practices are important for healthy production in agriculture, a healthy environment, and ultimately, a healthy community. Proper setup of crop irrigation and drainage system can help your crops to prosper—but it’s essential you find a professional who will install a crop irrigation and drainage system the right way.

If you’re looking for a soil drainage and agriculture expert, give us a call. We’re happy to lend our expertise on the pros and cons of artificial drainage, soil conditions, responsible farm water use, and anything else to do with your crops. Reach us by phone at (260)-982-7111 or by e-mail at steven(at)shanksterbros(dot)net.

Excavation Services for Your Farm Home

Excavation Services

Although it’s true that septic systems and farm drainage are two fields we specialize in, we want you to know that we also offer a variety of excavation services.

Excavation services: ponds, driveways, demolition and more

If you need excavation for a full, partial, or walkout basement, or even just a crawl space, we have the equipment and know-how to do the job for you. We have years of experience professionally operating a surveying transit, so that we can monitor the depth and level of your basement during excavation, and make sure the walls of the finished product are high enough above ground for good water drainage. 

We own and operate the equipment needed to install driveways, and can clear a road for your home or property with expert precision. Building ponds is far more complicated than holes in the ground. We put our knowledge and experience to good use, bypassing common misinformation and mistakes that can result in poor-functioning ponds.

Old, rotting fencerows can be a problem for both agricultural and residential properties, and we can clear yours for you. We have the equipment, knowledge base and expertise to handle general demolition projects, such as the demolition of old buildings, sheds or structures that have outlived their usefulness or become dangerously frail.

Call us for your septic, drainage and excavation needs

We operate our equipment with skill, and the safety of both homeowner and worker is something we take seriously. We keep you involved and informed during the course of every project. We make sure we understand exactly what you want, how you want it, while using our experience and knowledge to guide the process. 

So next time you need a basement dug, a driveway installed, a pond formed, a fence cleared, or a structure demolished, give us a call – and if your septic needs pumped, hey, call us for that, too. 

We’ve got you covered!

Shankster Bros. | (260)-982-7111 | steven(at)shanksterbros(dot)net

Preparing for Winter Weather

winter weather

Winter is here

Winter weather is here, and it seems like there’s always more we could do to keep our farms and homes snug and dry during these cold and wet months.

The good news is, you probably don’t have to do anything to keep your septic system working this winter, if it’s properly installed and insulated.

(If you’re concerned about the installation or insulation of your septic system, give us a call and we’re happy to give advice or take a look at it.)

Things to keep in mind during winter

It is wise to avoid driving maintenance vehicles over the septic tank or drain field in the winter. Keep in mind that something like a snow plow could damage your drain pipes or detrimentally compact the soil during wet seasons.

Also, many people travel during winter months, and so remember not to have your septic tank pumped right before you leave for a trip. Even a concrete septic tank can float if it’s empty, so if there’s an unseasonable flood or other high water table event, that empty tank can become a problem.

Don’t let mud get you down

Drainage DitchIn addition to septic services, we also offer excavation and drainage expertise, particularly in a rural setting.

We all know that mud creates an unhealthy environment for your livestock, such as horses, so we regularly help create healthier paddocks and pastures for your animals. Mud harbors bacteria and pathogens that can cause health problems – some are easily treatable but some can be fatal, especially to young animals.

Maintaining good drainage during the winter and keeping mud at a minimum is not only important for your land quality, property value and the health of humans and livestock, but for nearby wildlife and water health as well. Poor soil management and lack of quality drainage can create unhealthy runoff patterns which feed into local water sources. Rivers and lakes can suffer from the pollutants from nearby farms, so it’s important that we manage runoff, to keep our farms and our local water sources in good condition.

Keep your farm healthy and happy

We can help you create diversion ditches, drain lines and wells for your property, ensuring that your farm and surrounding area is as healthy and clean as possible.

If you already have drainage systems in place, don’t forget to closely observe your ditches and other systems after any major storms or thaws. After you check out your culverts and other drainage features, and if you aren’t sure of the best way to solve a drainage problem, please give us a call. We’re always happy to stop by and give you some advice on your drainage or how our excavating services can help your farm perform better.

Here to help

Even though winter is technically an offseason, we all know that in rural communities there’s never a truly slow time of year. Let us help you maintain your property, keep your home safe and dry and keep your farm in good working order over the winter.

Call us today at (260) 982-7111 – we’re happy to help you with any drainage, excavation or septic problem, no matter the weather.