The Water Technology Farm is operated by Dwane Roth of Big D Farm. The farm is owned by The Garden City Company and is located northwest of Holcomb, KS on Ritchel Rd. in Finney County.
The inception of this water technology farm started with a phone call by Dwane to Troy Dumler, manager of the company, asking if there is a better way of applying the water in the field. Troy, in turn, called Jonathan Aguilar, Extension Irrigation Engineer of K-State Southwest Research-Extension to seek advice. Then the phone calls turned into meetings and field visits which soon transformed the farm to be part of the network of water technology farms. At this farm the irrigation companies were approached by Dwane and asked to participate and contribute through in-kind donations of equipment or services.
The farm is designed to compare the effectiveness of three different applicators at 30- and 60-inch spacing. The applicators include Dragon-Line, iWob, and bubblers which were installed separately on three spans.
The farm is as unique as the water source is both ground and surface water. Surface water from the irrigation canal comes from the Arkansas River and is known for its poor water quality particularly for salinity issues. Water meter and control panel telemetry has been installed in the center pivot. AquaSpy soil water sensors have been installed on each span with different applicator. The field has been mapped to identify management zones and locate where the soil water sensors could be most effective. The whole field was planted in circular rows to corn in 2016.
Displayed are various technologies and comparisons that were conducted during the 2016 growing season. The experiences gained in the last year led to an expansion in the 2017 Water Technology Farm project at the Roth and Garden City Company farm.