Technology keeps evolving to help crop producers make every drop of water count on the fields. To demonstrate the latest in crop irrigation technology, farmers in numerous counties are teaming with the Kansas Water Office and Kansas State University to present Water Technology Field Days in several locations in August.
“I’m pleased to see the growing interest in Water Technology Farms across the state,” said Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter. “We continue to see outcomes from these farms suggesting that water use reductions, coupled with irrigation technology adoption and water management improvements are leading to positive effects on the aquifer as well as the producer’s bottom line.”
The field days are designed for producers to see how the newest research and technology is being applied in real-life settings in different areas of the state. Three more Water Technology Farm projects were implemented in 2018 with a total of 10 Water Technology Farm projects, on more than 35 fields overlying the High Plains Aquifer.
The upcoming field day dates and locations include:
• Aug. 7 – 2 p.m. Pawnee County – WaterPACK & ILS Farm
• Aug. 15 – 10 a.m. Finney County – Garden City Co. & Roth Farm
• Aug. 16 – TBD Harvey County – Weber Farm
• Aug. 16 – TBD Sedgwick County – Jacob Farm –
• Aug. 28 – 10 a.m. Finney County – T&O Farms –
• Aug. 28 – 2 p.m. Seward County – Hatcher Land & Cattle
• Aug. 29 – 9 a.m. Sherman County – NW KS Tech College Farms – (multiple events)
• Aug. 30 – 10 a.m. Scott County – Circle C Farms
• Aug. 30 – 5 p.m. Wichita County – Long Water Tech Farm
• Aug. 31 – 10 a.m. Ford County – Harshberger Farm
For the second year Northwest Kansas Technical College is also participating by providing learning and workforce development training for its students. Northwest Kansas Technical College’s Precision Agriculture department and landowners in the surrounding counties have partnered to develop 10 Water Technology Farm projects. In these projects, the students and landowners receive in-field training and hands on experience implementing water efficiency technologies. With supplier partnerships, students will be exposed to multiple types of soil moisture probes, pivot controls, irrigation scheduling systems and other water management tools.
KWO provides financial assistance to Kansas State University’s efforts to give technical support to each technology farm. K-State is deeply involved in establishing and monitoring the farms to help answer the producers’ specific questions and concerns about the new technology.
“K-State is working with partners to help address questions and concerns about the new irrigation technologies so in the future, farmers will fully embrace the technology appropriate for their operation and situation,” said Jonathan Aguilar, water resource engineer with K-State Research and Extension, based in Garden City, Kansas. “Each farm is set up slightly different, depending on the primary concern the producer has. For example, one farm has three adjacent spans with different modes of application for comparison purposes. In most fields, soil moisture sensors are installed and tested for accuracy as feedback or for its performance in the different soil types.”
The Water Technology Farms wouldn’t be possible without key public-private partnerships and support from the following:
Kansas Water Office; K-State Research and Extension; Kansas Corn Commission; Northwest Groundwater Management District No. 4; Groundwater Management District No. 1; Seaman Crop Consulting; Servi-Tech Expanded Premium Services, LLC; United Sorghum Check-Off Program; Garden City Coop; SW KS Groundwater Management District No. 3; Kansas Department of Agriculture; Conestoga Energy Partners; Teeter Irrigation; Dragon-Line; Helena; Kansas Geological Survey; Ogallala Aquifer Program; Syngenta; Hortau; Kansas Farm Bureau; KSU Mesonet; AquaSpy; Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission; Crop Metrics; Netafim; Valley Irrigation; Presley Solutions, American Irrigation; WaterPACK; Pioneer Hi-Bred International; Western Irrigation Supply House and Ag Systems, Inc.; Tri-State Irrigation; John Payne; TerrAvion; Phytech; Great Plains Precision Ag; Western Sprinkler; Finney County Conservation District; On Target Solutions;Lindsay Corporation; Woofter Irrigation; Agrela Ecosystems; BASF Corp; AgSense; Golden Harvset; Red Barn Enterprises, Inc.; Todd and Diana Long; Groundwater Management District No. 2; Heartland Soil Services; Ag Systems, Inc.; T&O Farms; Valmont Industries; 21st Century Equipment; AgVenture; AMVAC; Dane G. Hansen Foundation; DEKALB; DigiFarm; DJI; Kansas Corn Growers Association; Kansas Department of Commerce; ModernAG; Nash Water Well Service; Nex-Tech; NW Kansas Technical College; Precision Planting; SatShot; The Climate Corporation; Trimble; Northwest Kansas Groundwater Conservation Foundation; 96 Ag & KITS; DataFarm; Sand-D-Akr Farms; Senniger; Davis; Fontanelle; Golden Plains; Outback; Simplot; SST-Proagrica; Komet; Veris
For more information visit: www.kwo.ks.gov or contact Armando Zarco, Water Resource Planner at (620) 276-2901.