Water usage on the farm has always been an important issue, especially how it impacts the Ogallala Aquifer. Keeping up with the latest in technology helps farmers become more efficient with their water usage.
Farmers will get a chance to experience the latest in water technology at the Winter Water Technology Expo, slated from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 9, 2020 at the Finney County Fairgrounds. At 3 p.m. in the grandstand meeting room, Stephen Lauer will present information on conserving Ogallala Aquifer communities. This entire event is free and open to the public.
Katie Patterson-Ingels, communications director for the Kansas Water Office, said the Expo started two years ago and has grown every year. Numerous vendors will be on hand to display and explain how their technologies work.
The Expo also gives the KWO an opportunity to share developments at their water technology farms that were started four years ago. The farms were part of former Gov. Sam Brownback's vision for Kansas. The number of farms has grown from three to 15 with more than 100 sponsors. The technology farms develop management systems for growing crops and the Expo gives producers an opportunity to learn what technologies are being used and their effectiveness. It also gives producers the chance to share testimony on the water technologies they are using and their efficiency.
"Producers come to learn how to be more efficient and improve their bottom line," Patterson-Ingels said. "We wanted our growers to have an opportunity to visit with them. I'm excited about the opportunity for producers to hear from other producers how they are implementing technology on their farms."
Water is an extremely valuable commodity. The efficient use of water has always been a concern for farmers. Information at the Expo will help farmers improve their bottom line. By education and using sound technology practices, farmers can truly see a positive change in their bottom line. With efficient water usage, they can produce the same crop amount, if not more, and use the same amount of water or less.
Using technology can help producers preserve and extend the Ogallala Aquifer. Much concern has been aired about the amount of water farmers pull out of the aquifer every year.
"We all should really care about it (the aquifer)," Patterson-Ingels said.
Between 30 and 40 vendors indicated they will attend, with more expected to sign up after Jan. 1. The vendors will cover a wide range of topics.
Among the displays will be a rainfall simulator, a mobile traveling work center from the Northwest Tech water technology farm, irrigation, moisture probes, mapping, management tools and more.
Along with the vendors, hors d'oeuvres will be served and Kansas Beer & Distillery Beverages will provide drinks.
Other activities include a golf simulator, live music by Savanna Chestnut and Joel Naaf, and door prizes (must be present to win) that include seed corn for a circle, beef bundles from Tyson and more.
To RSVP, go to www.kwo.ks.gov. In case of inclement weather, a backup date is Feb. 28.