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Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE)

Flickner Innovation Farm

 About Us

Four members of the Flickner family pose on their farmOngoing projects at the Flickner Innovation Farm will help fine-tune existing irrigation, soil-health and other agricultural technologies while exploring ways that new innovations can improve soil health and conserve water on Kansas farmland. We hope to harvest the advantages of new technology and current research with our comprehensive team of experienced growers, agronomists, watershed specialists, university researchers and industry specialists.

Together, we hope to extend the reach of standard agricultural practices while improving yields and preserving natural resources.

American Robotics automated drone in its storage boxThe work of the Flickner Innovation Farm is just beginning, and will extend for the next three to five years. Experts will investigate the efficacy of different methods and technologies, including:

  • Irrigation technologies, including precision mobile drip and sub-surface drip irrigation
  • Precision agriculture using soil moisture and cosmic-ray neutron probes, irrigation scheduling and plant sensors
  • Various types of imagery, including satellite, fixed-wing aircraft and automated drone system
  • Scientists from Kansas State University will support specific research on soil health, fertilizer response and nutrient losses

With these advanced technologies and expertise, this project hopes to reduce irrigated water use on the farm by 15 percent. 

Summer 2019 Field Day

The Flickner Innovation farm was pleased to welcome nearly 100 participants to the farm's first field day. Attendees included producers, industry representatives and project partners. Representatives from American Robotics treated the group to a demonstration of the farm's new automated drone imagery system, and K-State professor Anita Dille spoke to participants about how cover crops can be used for weed prevention. Attendees said that the day's program was "full of great topics" and that they could use what they learned from the day to "build an understanding" about how to implement new technologies. After the success of this field day, the project partners are planning another field day for early 2020; contact KCARE for more details.

Farm History

Drip hoses irrigate a corn fieldThe Flickner Farm, located in Moundridge, Kansas, has a long history reaching back to the 1870s. Ray Flickner is the 5th generation to farm this land, which now consists of more than 850 acres with 10 individual water rights. The Flickner Farm uses sub-surface drip irrigation (SSDI) and precision mobile drip irrigation (PMDI) to grow corn, wheat and soybeans; many of the fields are no-till or limited strip till, and soil conservation techniques continue to be implemented. The family's commitment to improved soil health and sustainable water use makes the Flickner Farm a perfect location for testing new technologies and innovative solutions for these issues.

Did you miss our field day?

Don't worry, our project partners are planning future field days at the Flickner Innovation Farm. In the meantime, you can still learn about some of the topics we discussed, like drone aerial imageryusing cover crops for weed suppression, or techniques for healing gullies. If you want to learn more, you can contact us at any time!