The More We Know, The Better We Grow

Grower-driven on-farm research collaborative project seeking participating farms

K-State Extension state specialists, area agronomists, and county/district agents are again seeking to collaborate with producers in establishing on-farm and large-scale research plots in 2017. Kansas Corn Commissions is providing funding for an expansion of the on-farm program in 2017 with checkoff dollars.

The goal of our on-farm research collaborative project is to establish a network of on-farm research farmer collaborators with the main purpose of providing research results on production practices at the state, regional or local scale, under a wide set of growing conditions.

We believe there are no losers in this program as all parties will benefit. Farmers involved in this collaborative research effort, will be empowered to solve their own problems and will have greater confidence in making decisions related to their production practices. This program is not designed to be the typical strip-trial, review the scientific findings process on a small-scale plot.

The on-farm research collaborative project is farmer-run research, thus information will be produced and used by farmers. Farmer participation is the key component of this project and farmers will be the main beneficiary.

What do I gain from participating?

Maximize resources and yields.The project has a main goal to improve yields and/or minimizing input costs, increasing overall efficiency in the state of Kansas.

Creating an environment for ongoing improvement.The project will help producers learn the best ways to design an on-farm test so you can obtain reliable information on a specific question related to their own farms.

Feel empowered in decisions making.The outcomes from this project will empower our producers to make sound decisions with confidence and will aid researchers in identifying and communicating areas for future research.

Who are the key players?

1. Kansans farmers: Farmers are the main players, the ones who will implement the trials, collect the data and utilize the results.

2. Extension Agricultural Agents: The agents are the “gatekeepers” of this project. They will work very closely with farmers and can assist, if needed, with information and/or help on implementing the trials.

3. K-State Extension State Specialists and Area Agronomists: K-State faculty will assist Extension agents and Kansas farmers in developing the protocols, implementing trials and analyzing the data generated at the on-farm scale.

Research data (small-plots) vs. On-farm data (large-plots): What is the main different between these concepts?

Information produced at research stations has the following features:

Small plot size = small variability (“controlled conditions”)

Intensive sampling = usually related to a graduate student project, with many samples taken throughout the growing season

More complex and more treatments can be evaluated

Small sample size = measurements may be less representative of “real” farm conditions

On-farm data have the following features:

Large plot size = higher variability due to uncontrollable variation within each plot

Less intensive sampling

Less complex and fewer (two or three) treatments can be evaluated

Large sample size = measurements may more closely represent “real” farm conditions

For more information contact Ignacio Ciampitti, Corn Extension Specialist with K-State

Research and Extension, by phone at 785-532-6940 or by email at

Funding Research for Productivity, Sustainability and New Uses

The Kansas Corn Commission (KCC) funds projects at Kansas State University and other universities to make advances in several areas related to corn. Such initiatives include researching innovative production practices and finding new uses for corn.

Water Technology Farms Aim to Increase Sustainability

The KCC funded two water technology farms in 2016 and funded several additional projects in 2017. This and other water sustainability research is supported with corn checkoff dollars by the KCC..

Working with the Kansas Water Office and the state’s Water Vision program, Kansas Corn is providing financial support for the research being conducted on these innovative farms that test new technology on farm fields to use groundwater for irrigation more sustainably. Many types of technology are being tested, including moisture sensors and different types of irrigation technology.

Pawnee County Technology Farm Project: $12,000
Garden City Company Water Technology Project: $13,300
Seward Co. Water Technology Project: $15,000
Upper Smoky Circle C Farms, Scott and Lane Counties:  $10,000
Northwest Kansas Technical College (multiple NW Kansas locations): $15,000
Upper Smoky Wichita Co.: $5,000

K-State’s Innovative Web App:

K-State’s web-based application is an open-source, extension-based application that will provide farmers with customized, science-based support tools to improve farming practices. (The application is supported with corn checkoff dollars by the KCC.)

myFields can help link farmer data with crop models to optimize farming operations. The web-based application provides an efficient method to push content to users when and where they need it, refined further by variety grown, planting date and growth stage.

Efficient delivery of information between farmers and researchers is accomplished by simply asking who, when and where.

Corn Growth and Development Poster Available

The KCC helped to fund an effort led by Ignacio Ciampitti, Ph.D of K-State to create a Corn Growth and Development poster. The poster has been published by K-State Research and Extension and is available in English, Spanish, Mexican Spanish and Portuguese.

Follow on Twitter!

Kansas Corn works closely with K-State crop production and cropping systems specialist, Ignacio Ciampitti, Ph.D, to bring crop production research to farmers in Kansas. Follow Ignacio on Twitter @ksucrops

KSU Crops Twitter