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 2020 season, this farm will grow corn side by side. One field is equipped with higher efficiency nozzle package while the other will maintain its normal operating schedule. Hatcher may also incorporate a camera sensor style technology to be mounted on the pivot to take regular interval scans of the field to monitor its progress throughout the season.
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.