Brothers John and Hugo Maaskant have been farming broiler chickens and cash cropping together since the early 1970s. After acquiring a new farm a decade later and clearing it into one large field, they became aware of severe erosion issues. Through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF), John and Hugo were introduced to Iowa’s Hickenbottom family, who had developed a revolutionary drainage system of perforated surface inlets to control large water volumes and reduce erosion. As a result of that relationship, the brothers embarked on a project building terraces on their farm using Hickenbottom Inlets. The project relied on expertise from Iowa, including Soil Conservation Service (SCS) technicians and experienced heavy equipment operators. The project was partially financed with a grant from OMAF and was used as a training exercise for OMAF engineers. The project was a resounding success and, soon after, Maaskant Bros. became the Canadian distributors for Hickenbottom Surface Inlets.
Hickenbottom Inlets have long been the gold standard for surface water drainage in the agriculture market. And, increasingly, they are now being used in other engineered projects, especially roadbuilding and land development. Hickenbottom’s original, bright orange inlets—which come in 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 24-inch sizes—are available through tile manufacturers and other wholesalers who supply the agriculture and commercial industries.