The Northwest Kansas Technical College Water Technology Farm is located south of Goodland, Kansas in Sherman county. This project is a public-private cooperation with the college, students and local farmers. The precision agriculture program allows students to implement new irrigation technologies on campus and work with area land owners. This gives the students the opportunity to utilize, monitor, and test modern irrigation technology that isn't commonly available. The ultimate goal is to not only educate the students, but also local farmers on how new irrigation technology can be utilized for more efficient irrigation water use to extend the life on the local aquifer.
In addition to the technology, the Precision Agriculture Water Technology Farm ensures water conservation in other areas, for example, one nearby farm who is working with their program is the Franklin Family Farms, and they are currently enrolled with a Water Conservation Area (WCA) program with the KS Dept. of Agriculture, taking steps to further reduce water use. To further ensure conservation, the NW Technical College campus farm fields fall under the GMD4 LEMA, where action was taken by the local groundwater board members to reduce water use across their district.
Further details on the WCA program can be found: here
More information on the GMD4 LEMA can be obtained here.
For the 2019 growing season, at least half a dozen local landowners have already agreed to allow students to conduct field & soil mapping and install various irrigation technology on their fields for the season; this provides students with actual in the field learning opportunities and exposes the landowners to new irrigation technology and methods that can be used. Some local farmers have been working with their program for a few years now, and more are beginning to inquire.
Through partnerships with many vendors, the students are exposed to multiple brands and types of technology. The multiple locations involved in the project also allows students to be exposed to various environments, field conditions, precipitation events, soil quality, and other factors. Students are given the chance to advise the farmer on planning efforts based on the data collected from the technology installed.