(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor. Let’s join Duane and Tracy as they talk about the impact water in Kansas reservoirs has on energy costs.
(Duane) Duane Toews continuing with updates from Topeka at the Kansas Energy Conference, Tracy Streeter with the Kansas Water Office, Director, joins us here on the program. And Tracy we think about water in Kansas. A lot of folks don’t think about it on an energy front, but it does have an impact as far as energy costs, energy savings and efficiency was really kind of one of the topics here at the conference. You shared some information that from your perspective, the Governor’s perspective about the importance of water here in Kansas. (Tracy) Well, obviously with us being an agricultural state and kind of an arid, semi-arid region in the west and to a pretty good precipitous region in the east, we obviously have a diverse set of issues to deal with, with conserving the Ogallala Aquifer and extending the life of that and then of course keeping sediment out of our reservoirs. And as I mentioned two-thirds or about 60 percent of our energy production relies on our reservoirs either directly or indirectly so water does matter greatly when we’re producing power for our state and our neighbors to make sure that we have the water to back up those power plants and meet their needs. And so agriculture’s contribution to having good watershed management and keeping sediment out of those lakes is vital to energy production in Kansas. We heard some great stories at the conference this morning about an irrigator out west where he has reduced his energy costs by adopting subsurface drip irrigation. I think there’s opportunities to look at in terms of reducing input costs, as we try to conserve water some thing that there’s something to that, that we’re going to see less economic activity if we reduce water. Well, if we can reduce our input costs but yet maintain yields then I think we’ve got some opportunity to move forward on both. (Duane) We think about the state, you referenced that there are different issues in different parts of the state. We’re pretty diverse from east to west. (Tracy) We certainly are. And when you get into a drought like we were a couple of years ago, we were all kind of in the same boat. We were dealing with diminished water resources in the west and east when we had the whole state covered in some stage of drought. So, it kind of united us around the water issue in Kansas in the last couple of years. And so I think that we need to be mindful of that, that we were in a statewide drought not long ago and we’re teetering on getting back into drought in other parts of the state right now. So, I think drought is something that kind of unites us. And even though we have such diverse conditions from west to east normally, the drought really is something that we all have in common statewide. (Duane) Our thanks to Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office, joining us at the Kansas Energy Conference in Topeka. Jamie we’ll send it back to you in studio.
(Jamie) Thanks, Duane. Folks, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee, but don’t go far away – next up is this week’s Kansas Soybean Report.