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Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE)

Our Mission

Agriculture is interwoven through nearly every aspect of life in the state of Kansas. Drive down any highway, and you’ll see farms or ranchland: after all, nearly 90 percent of all the land in the state is agricultural. Most of this acreage is family farms and ranches, with traditions stretching back through the generations. But the future of farming is changing, whether it’s tilling techniques, water management, or the weather. With this in mind, the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE) has a mission to develop and deliver knowledge that helps Kansans balance the utilization of our state’s natural resources with the protection of those resources.

Kansas State University established KCARE to coordinate and enhance research, extension, and teaching activities pertaining to environmental issues related to agriculture. Our projects examine water management issues, water quality, prairie ecosystem maintenance, fertilizer research, and the effects of climate change on beef cattle production in the Southern Great Plains.

KCARE forges partnerships between K-State scientists and other research institutions to create quality solutions for the environmental issues our state faces now and into the future. Our projects examine current issues and create new innovations to offset the changing landscape; together, we can help Kansas agriculture remain successful and sustainable.

Meet the Team

KCARE brings together a diverse group of people passionate about the environmental issues related to Kansas agriculture. Our researchers are among the best that K-State has to offer, from a range of departments and expertise. The KCARE Staff is available to answer questions about current projects. KCARE's researchers focus on a variety of topics, including:

thunderstorm on the horizon


From studies about how a changing climate affects beef cattle to research on micrometeorology, KCARE-affiliated researchers are using cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking to learn more about the effects our climate has on agriculture.


sorghum plant

Cropping Systems

Corn, soybeans, sorghum, forage: cropping systems play a big role in Kansas agriculture. K-State researchers and extension specialists investigate methods to improve sustainability, efficiency and yield of our agricultural production.


calves in field


Our scientific team focuses on animal health and nutrition, including special studies about using cover crops as forage for cattle, sheep, and other livestock. We are part of Great Plains Grazing, a program that includes more than 40 researchers from several universities. This multi-year project focuses on innovative ways to adapt grazing strategies to changing conditions on the Southern Great Plains. 

fireRange Management

Grasslands are one of the most valuable resources in the Great Plains region, and proper management is key to its preservation. From prescribed burning programs to measuring smoke emissions and air quality to rangeland improvements, K-State researchers and Range Specialists are dedicated to understanding and improving our region's grasslands.


edge of field runoff

Soil and Erosion

Our soil scientists and erosion experts are pioneering important work on soil's quality and properties, as well as its role in energy exchanges. Researchers also are studying ways to prevent and mitigate erosion to decrease pollutant runoff. 

irrigation sprayer closeup

Water and Irrigation

Water affects us all, from urban systems to irrigation practices. Our K-State researchers and extension specialists are investigating every aspect of this issue: including topics like community groundwater management, new irrigation technologies, the sedimentation of our reservoirs, and more. 

watershed specialists map

Watershed Specialists

The KCARE watershed specialists are experts who work directly with Kansas to focus on water quality. They work with individual landowners, producers, and municipalities to implement best management practices to improve water quality across the state. Find out if there's a watershed specialist in your area who can help you put a plan in place for watershed improvement.