The Hatcher Water Technology Farm is owned and operated by Nick Hatcher with Hatcher Land and Cattle. The farm is located 6 miles north of Liberal, Kansas in Seward county. This Water Technology Farm started in conjunction with a Water Conservation Area (WCA) with the goal of maintaining crop production while increasing water use efficiency and reducing wheel track issues.
There are two irrigation pivots that make up this technology farm. They have had field mapping completed to identify management zones and locations for the probes to best represent the area. Aerial imagery is also being collected to monitor the results and then evaluate the impacts of different water management strategies.
For the 2019 growing season, Hatcher made the decision to plant the same variety corn as he did two years prior when he first enrolled in the Water Technology Farm program. He will compare the two growing seasons to determine if it's possible to take further steps in reducing water use but still maintain the same crop yields.
The irrigation pivots are utilizing several technologies, including EC soils mapping of all fields, soil moisture probes, variable rate irrigation, iWob and Bubbler nozzles, and aerial imagery.
The Hatcher Water Technology Farm is based on a three year Water Conservation Area (WCA), which adds flexibility to water use over the term of the WCA. The WCA includes a 10% reduction of water use and the ability to rollover any unused quantity to future years, creating a tool that can be used for multi-year water and cropping planning purposes. Details on the Hatcher WCA can be found here.