The wheels on the large, black passenger van spun slightly as they crept down a muddy drive to the edge of a field in Reno County. When the van stopped, a group of visitors from Eastern Europe piled out and gathered around farmer Cameron Peirce.
The group of Ukrainian farmers had come to Reno County with the Travelite Club company to learn about precision agriculture practices in Kansas. The group’s second stop of the day was to learn about drip-tape irrigation at one of Peirce’s fields.
The group was guided by Roman Grynyshyn, who organized the trip through his company, Travelite. Grynyshyn had toured Peirce’s farm before, with other groups.
“Roman has been here with two groups before,” Peirce said. “The first time I was contacted, the group was looking specifically for people growing sunflowers and canola. That’s how my relationship with Roman started and he’s brought more groups since.”
The group also toured and asked questions at Jacque’s Farm, Inc and Gaeddert Farms.
The group asked about various precision ag techniques from soil sampling, field mapping, variable rate planting, and nutrient application.
They also compared farming in the U.S. and Ukraine.
“He is the Ukraine equivalent of you,” explained Grynyshyn, who served as the groups interpreter.
The man Grynyshyn referred to farms about the same acreage as Peirce, and has a seed business. What Peirce does with four people, takes 42 in the Ukraine.
Another group member explained that her family farms around 7,000 hectares — nearly 18,000 acres — and has to manage nearly 7,000 rental agreements for the land because plots of land are smaller and owned by more individuals in the Ukraine.
The group plans to take what they learned on their journey through Reno County and see how it can be applied to their operations back home in the Ukraine.