MANHATTAN, Kan. – Some of the best agricultural innovations happen every day right in farmer’s fields.
That’s one reason why a Kansas State University scientist is putting out a call to the state’s producers who may want to participate in university-managed research.
“One of the most relevant goals of on-farm research is to take all of the pieces of information that we as researchers learn at K-State and try to connect that research with farmers,” said Ignacio Ciampitti, a farming systems specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “Specifically the end goal is to work with farmers, discuss ideas, get questions from them, and try to get real time solutions.”
Ciampitti said that happens best when K-State researchers can conduct trials in Kansas farmer’s fields, during the growing season, and under a variety of conditions.
“One of the challenges we face as researchers is we work in small plots to investigate crop management practices, such as seeding rates in corn,” he said. “But when you’re trying to get the outcomes of this research to the farm, there is separation many times when farmers are looking for relevant data to their specific field operation.”
K-State’s Department of Agronomy is offering farmers an opportunity to have university researchers conduct upcoming studies on their farms. Ciampitti said farmers can fill out a simple form online, and then will be contacted for further information.
“We are here to help and we are looking for those that want to test new technologies and new practices,” Ciampitti said.
He noted that farmers who participate in university research decide what topic needs to be studied on their farm.
“That’s the beauty of the project,” Ciampitti said. “We sit down with the farmer, and find out what their questions are. So, for example, they may have a question about whether they are utilizing the right seeding rate, or should they cut back or add more seeds. We can tackle these projects thanks to the support provided by Kansas Corn and Kansas Soybean on implementing on-farm research studies across Kansas.
“Our goal is to get information to the farmers, and that farmers understand that many of the recommendations and practices are site-specific; they change with each field.”
For more information on the K-State On-Farm Project, producers may contact their local extension agent, or call Ciampitti at 785-532-6940.