K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Water Office plus numerous sponsors will host Kansas Water Technology Farm Field Days in August. | Download this photo.
Water technology farms expanded and field days scheduled
Water conservation techniques being demonstrated on established farms
July 31, 2017
MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Water Office (KWO) and Kansas State University are providing an opportunity to see firsthand what is taking place on water technology demonstration farms by hosting a series of field days in August. Each location will showcase the technology that has been implemented on that site and the results to date.
Last year, three water technology demonstration farms: Roth/Garden City Company, T & O Farms, LLC and WaterPACK/ ILS, were created in response to public input and identified in the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas (Water Vision). These farms were initiated in southwest and south central Kansas and are three-year pilot projects featuring the installation and testing of the latest irrigation technologies on a whole field scale with a primary focus on water conservation.
“We greatly appreciate the leadership and innovation from these stakeholders who are willing to participate in these demonstration farms and the partners who also believe in these projects,” said Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter. “While we need to evaluate the performance of these farms for multiple years from a water savings and economic standpoint, the preliminary results of these demonstration farms are encouraging. There is growing evidence that water use reductions coupled with irrigation technology adoption and water management will result in positive effects on the aquifer and the producer’s bottom line.”
In addition to these existing farms, 10 more Water Tech Farms via partnerships have been established in western Kansas. Throughout August each farm will host a Field Day.
- Monday Aug. 7 - Circle C Farms, 10 a.m., Healy - (RSVPs are required by Aug. 5) - Owned and operated by: Steve Compton
- Friday, Aug. 11 – Hatcher Land and Cattle, 2 p.m., Liberal - Owned and operated by Nick Hatcher
- Monday, Aug. 14 – WaterPACK/ILS, 2 p.m., Larned - Owned by ILS Inc. and operated by Richard Wenstrom
- Tuesday, Aug. 15 – T& O Farms, LLC 10 a.m., Garden City - Owned and operated by Tom Willis
- Thursday, Aug. 24 – Northwest Technical College, 10 a.m., Goodland - Owned by Northwest Technical College and operated by tech students
- Thursday, Aug. – Big D Farms, 9 a.m., Holcomb - Owned by Garden City Company and operated by Dwane Roth
In addition to an understanding of how the technologies work, the field days are opportunities to learn from local producers, irrigation companies, soil water sensor dealers and others about options and experiences toward improving irrigation water use. In 2016 alone, the first three such field days drew a collective attendance of 375 people wanting to learn something new as well as wanting to share their experience with fellow producers.
KWO provides financial assistance to Kansas State University’s efforts to give technical support to each technology farm. K-State became deeply involved in establishing and monitoring the farms to help answer 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 all fields, soil moisture sensors are installed and tested for accuracy as feedback or for its performance in the different soil types.”
The farms are supported by: Kansas Water Office; K-State Research and Extension; Kansas Corn Commission; Servi-Tech Expanded Premium Services, LLC; United Sorghum Check-Off Program; Seaman Crop Consulting; SW Kansas 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; K-State Mesonet; AquaSpy; Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission; Crop Metrics; Netafim; Valley Irrigation; and Presley Solutions; American Irrigation; WaterPACK; Pioneer Hi-Bred International; Western Irrigation Supply House and Ag Systems, Inc.; Tri-State; John Payne; TerrAvion; and Phytech.
Visit the KWO website, www.kwo.org for more information on each field day or call 1-888-KAN-WATER.