Kansas: Water, Soil Conservation Field Day, Moundridge, Aug. 23

Pivot irrigation equipment in young corn field. ©Debra L Ferguson

The Flickner Innovation Farm will host its first-ever field day event on Friday, August 23, highlighting current work by local producers, industry members and Kansas State University researchers to conserve water use while improving water quality and soil health.

The event will take place at different venues in the Moundridge area and will feature experts speaking on a variety of subjects, including how to plant cover crops to combat weeds and methods of healing gullies.

“Given the extreme weather we experienced in Kansas in this spring and into the summer, these are really timely topics,” said Ray Flickner, owner and operator of the Flickner Innovation Farm. Producers who attend the field day will have opportunities to ask questions and get advice about how they can apply these techniques in their own operations.

The program begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m. The event is free and lunch will be provided. More information, including registration, is available online from the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment.

The Innovation Farm is a partnership between Flickner, university agronomists, watershed specialists and industry leaders. Together, they are conducting studies in a large-farm setting to identify the most efficient technologies and techniques for Kansas producers to use on their own farms.

One of the technologies being studied is an automated drone system, which captures high-resolution imagery of fields to help farmers identify various crop conditions. Field day participants will be able to watch the drone in flight and learn how the Innovation Farm is using this new type of imagery in day-to-day decision-making.

Attendees also will tour the Moundridge Wastewater Treatment facility, which is scheduled to begin operations soon.

Several K-State researchers are conducting research at the Innovation Farm, including studies about soil health tests; strategies to optimize the use of soil moisture probes; and investigation on the effects of long-term cropping systems on fertilizer requirements. The research on the Flickner Innovation Farm will help K-State researchers develop new nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for the state.

Current data from these projects are not yet available, but the Innovation Farm plans to invite participants to a follow-up meeting to discuss the findings later in the year, according to Ron Graber, a watershed specialist with KCARE.

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