Infrastructure Development

RAIN’s mandate is to build a more resilient agri-food sector in Algoma through applied research and agri-food development projects. This includes increasing direct investment through grower cooperation to address the present agricultural infrastructure barriers in Northern Ontario.

NOHFC Regional Infrastructure Program

Since 2014, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network has been undertaking regional tile drainage and land clearing projects on Manitoulin Island and within the Algoma District.

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. will fund 50 percent of tile drainage contractor costs (including materials) to a maximum of $500 per acre. Download: NOHFC Funding Support for Agricultural Projects. Land Clearing projects are no longer funded through this program.

For more information, please contact Cathy Bouchard, RAIN Program Coordinator at (705) 942-7927 ext. 3135 or

Tile Drainage Algoma $989,000 1,439 347
Tile Drainage & Land Clearing Manitoulin $976,200 1,552 75
TOTAL   $1,965,200 2,991 422

RAIN Regional Infrastructure Program

What is Tile Drainage or Subsurface Drainage?

The purpose of tile drainage or subsurface drainage is to lower the water table of poorly drained fields by placing perforated drain tubes 2-12 feet beneath the soil. Modern “tile drains” are corrugated, flexible, and perforated (PE or PVC) pipelines wrapped with filter material to improve permeability and prevent the entry of soil particles. Tile drains can be installed by a landowner on their own properties, or otherwise must be done by a licensed professional.

Benefits of Tile Drainage

    • Soil surface of tiled land will warm and dry out more quickly, allowing access to the field earlier and longer;
    • Crops can develop a deeper root system even in extreme wet or dry conditions (see image below);
    • Studies have shown that crop yields and quality will improve by 20-30% when compared to those on untiled land;
    • Improves aeration in the soil and reduces the risk of soil compaction;
    • The ability to better manage water depths on farmland reduces the risk of flood.

How tile drains work

Click on image to enlarge

For more information on the environmental and economic benefits of tile drainage, see Fraser and Fleming’s literature review.