Finney County farmer, Garden City recognized for water conservation efforts

Nov 28, 2016

A Finney County farmer and the City of Garden City were recently recognized by the Kansas Water Office for implementing irrigation technology and for adopting practices that conserve water.
Credit Flyhighplato

In western Kansas, meanwhile, a farmer and local officials were recently honored for their efforts to preserve water.

A Finney County farmer and the City of Garden City were recognized earlier this month at the Governor’s Water Conference in Manhattan for taking measures to conserve, reuse or adopt practices aimed at preserving the state’s future water resources.

According to Kansas Agland, Finney County farmer Tom Willis is one of three farmers in Kansas to establish a Water Technology Farm, which allows for testing and measuring the effectiveness of the latest irrigation technologies.

“There are many individuals, cities and industries taking extraordinary measures to conserve, reuse or adopt better practices to help ensure the future of our state’s water resources,” Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office, said in a press release. “Be the Vision’ recognizes these Kansans for demonstrating the strategies included in the Vision, who believe in doing more and leading by example.”

Willis, owner of T&O Farms in southern Finney County, implemented the technology farm earlier this year. It’s the state’s largest technology farm – 10 circles in all – including eight circles that are a paired study and planted to the same crops, Kansas Agland reports and half use a Dragon-Line drip irrigation system; the other half use a conventional center-pivot nozzle system, along with a variety of different soil probe technology.

Garden City, also honored at the conference, has been looking for ways to reuse water for agriculture and industrial use, Kansas Agland reports. Last year, the city committed to use treated effluent from the Meadowlark Dairy Nutrition Plant currently under construction and officials are also looking at ways to educate the community about water use and conservation.