T&O Farms LLC is owned by Mr. Tom Willis and located approximately 12 miles south of Garden City in Finney County Kansas.
“I farm here and also have an ethanol business. I want to prove the concept that we can conserve water and still achieve profitable yield using the technologies we are pioneering on my farm. Secondly, I want to pass this farm onto my son when he returns from serving our country," said Willis.
Since the return of his son, with the help of his nephew, Willis has been able to maintain and expand this water technology farm since it's inception in 2016. They want to continue studying new technologies and farming practices for years to come to help further extend the groundwater beneath the farm ground.
"Water Tech Farms gives irrigators a look at latest water-saving technology"
For the 2020 growing season there are a total of 12 pivots being utilized in the program. The study rotates year to year on different irrigation pivots but it will be studying corn, soybeans, sorghum and other crops amongst different pivots; as well as studying the same crop side-by-side with slightly different farming practices to determine the most efficient methods.
An abandoned irrigation well on the farm is now equipped with an observation station and is regularly monitored by the Kansas Geological Survey. This observation well measures changes in the static groundwater level on a real time basis to compare to nearby irrigation wells. The farm also hosts a weather station through the KSU- KS Mesonet program that will measure temperature, precipitation, humidity and wind velocity. The farm utilizes soil moisture probes, various nozzle packages to include bubblers and mobile drip irrigation, and aerial imagery services.
T&O Farms, LLC is enrolled in a Water Conservation Area (WCA). A Water Conservation Area (WCA) is a designated area with an approved management plan developed by a water right owner or group of water right owners with the consent of the chief engineer to reduce water withdrawals while maintaining economic value via water right flexibility. The T&O Farms WCA plan can be found here.