Kansas State University will be presenting current findings on irrigation and soil health based on research conducted at the Flickner Innovation Farm, near Inman.
The farm is hosting the free workshop at the Inman Community Center, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 14. Lunch will be provided. More information, including registration, is available online from the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE). Those interested in attending should register by January 10.
Several K-State faculty members are conducting research at the Flickner 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. University officials say the research on the farm will help researchers develop new nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for Kansas.
The workshop’s organizers say research by local producers, K-State researchers and industry partners are helping to fine-tune current and emerging technologies that conserve water use while improving water quality and soil health.
The workshop will feature a range of experts speaking on a variety of subjects, including proper placement of soil moisture probes and the results of the farm’s nutrient study. Workshop participants also will learn more about how the innovation farm uses imagery to enhance crop production and different irrigation technologies to reduce overall water use.
“Last year was a difficult year for many producers in Kansas. However, thanks to research conducted with multiple partners, we learned a great deal about changes we could make to improve irrigation timing and application that will improve profitability,” said Ray Flickner, who owns and operates the Flickner Innovation Farm. He added that he anticipates applying baseline information on soil health and nutrient management from last year’s work to support science-driven management decisions in the future.
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.
“We hope that the current data will help other producers improve soil health and water conservation on their own farms,” said Ron Graber, a watershed specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “We want the work on the Flickner Innovation Farm to be able to demonstrate what really works on a large-farm setting.”
In addition to presentations about ongoing projects and upcoming research, the meeting will also include opportunities to meet with vendors and other industry representatives.