Field Research

(Ignacio) So the On-Farm Research Program for K-State is trying to bring the
university to farmers. And the goal is the way to start to be more relevant
and start to be close to farmers is to work immediately with them. And one of
the things we are working on, this is trying to make sure that we are
relevant for farmers and we are producing some information that the farmers
can use. So the idea of the program is very, very simple. We are working with
several different farmers in different areas of the state and basically we
are asking them, what is your main limiting factor? Just tell me which is the
question that you want to do some research about and we are helping them to
establish some protocols on how to do these demonstrations. And also we are
helping them to do some statistics and showing them what is a real benefit.
The idea is not only to just help them to assign the plots, but also is to
make sure there is an interpretation and they can use the information for
making decisions. (Mark) It was good to collaborate with the local extension
agent, the university, with the professor, with everyone. We learn a lot from
doing it. Sometimes just the act of participation will make you do a better
job and pay attention to details and that’s inherently what’s happening when
we do these studies either with the university or on our own. We really pay
attention to the cost of our inputs. We keep the accounting all separate.
(Male) The reason that I come is to get local data and local research and
what’s working in our area, cause Kansas is such a vastly different
environment from east to west. Recommendations across the board doesn’t work
in Kansas. And so I think that’s where Research and Extension, Kansas State
University really comes in hand. It is nice to be able to get out on to an
On-Farm Research plot, be able to see the research. You can correlate it back
to what you saw. And so this is a great way for producers local area to learn
what’s working here. (Tom) It’s important for us to have multiple On-Farm
Research sites to explore on-farm research under different soil types. As
we’ve continued on with our second year of On-Farm Research with dryland
corn, plant populations, we’re finding some interesting aspects of the
research that the farmers are collecting on their own farm. (Ignacio) So what
the goal is for the next year is to make sure that farmers around different
areas have at least one plot. And they are researching and they are trying to
investigate what are the main limiting factors, improving the profits,
minimizing inputs, saving costs? And the goal at the end is to make sure also
that we have all this information available to the rest of the farmers.

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