Western Kansas Agricultural Research Centers
Western Kansas Agricultural Research Centers

The Western Kansas Agricultural Research Centers (WKARC), one of several administrative units accountable to the KAES director, is composed of four sub-units including the Agricultural Research Center - Hays (ARCH), the Southwest Research-Extension Center - Garden City(SWREC) and Southwest Research-Extension Center - Tribune (SWREC-T), and the Northwest Research-Extension Center - Colby (NWREC).


News and Information

Looking Back, Moving Forward – K-State to Celebrate 100 Years of Ag Research in NW Kansas: Field day and special evening event will mark scientific advances and outreach efforts. 

COLBY, Kan. – We’ve come a long way since it took 40 to 50 hours of labor to produce 100 bushels of wheat. To celebrate its role in 100 years of agricultural research and outreach, Kansas State University’s Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby will host a special field day and meal on Thursday, Sept. 4.

The public is invited to both events. Presentations at the field day will include a historical perspective, but also focus on current topics and those on the horizon. Registration for the field day, to be held at the center, 105 Experiment Farm Road, begins at 2:00 p.m., with field tours running from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Field day topics and K-State presenters include: 

  • Water Use and Productivity of Dryland Corn and Grain Sorghum – Rob Aiken, research crops scientist;
  • Water Use of Corn – A Historical and Current Perspective – Freddie Lamm – research agricultural engineer;
  • Crop Weed Management Then and Now – Phil Stahlman, research weed scientist;
  • Ogallala Aquifer Declines at the K-State Northwest Research-Extension Center and Monitoring Declines Going Forward – Dan Rogers, extension irrigation engineer and state leader;
  • Grain Market and Crop Profitability Prospects for 2014-2015 – Dan O’Brien, extension agricultural economist.

A free meal begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by a program from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Cooper Barn at the Prairie Museum of Art and History, 1905 S. Franklin in Colby.

Presentations and speakers include: 

  • The First Century: The Legacy of the Northwest Research-Extension Center – Bob Gillen, head of K-State’s Western Kansas Agricultural Research Centers;
  • A Century of Climate Variability in Northwest Kansas – John Harrington, K-State Department of Geography; and
  • Grand Challenges for the Next Century – John Floros, dean of K-State’s College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension.

Oh, and that 40 to 50 labor hours to produce 100 bushels of wheat 100 or so years ago? By 1997 it was down to three labor hours in combination with a tractor and other equipment not yet invented 100 years ago, according to Ag in the Classroom’s Growing a Nation: The Story of American Agriculture   https://www.agclassroom.org/gan/timeline/farm_tech.htm .


K State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well being of Kansans.  Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K State campus in Manhattan.

Story by:
Mary Lou Peter
K-State Research and Extension

For more information:
Kansas State University’s Northwest Research-Extension Center – 785-462-6281 #110



K-State's Freddie Lamm honored for irrigation research, education

By Mary Lou Peter

Kansas State University research irrigation engineer Freddie Lamm has been honored for his extensive research and education on subsurface drip irrigation, or SDI, for field crops by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Lamm was recognized with the 2014 Netafim Award for Advancements in Microirrigation at the society's annual meeting in Montréal, Quebec.

Lamm works at K-State's Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby, where he specializes in water management for grain and oilseed crops and in the design and management for irrigation systems.

"His research on subsurface drip irrigation has greatly influenced field productivity in the Midwest and other areas of the world," a society announcement said.

More than 25 years ago, Lamm began to lead efforts at K-State in broadening the adaptation and adoption of subsurface drip irrigation technology for field crop production in the U.S. Great Plains and beyond. By the late 1960s, the Ogallala aquifer of western Kansas was declining. Years would pass before development constraints were instituted toward improving irrigation efficiency and water productivity to sustain the Ogallala.

In 1989, Lamm proposed to investigate the adoption of drip technology, which had been shown to reduce water use and improve or maintain crop yield and quality. His investigations resulted in the establishment of the first research plots at the Northwest Research and Extension Center in Colby.

"This research exemplified his tremendous developmental efforts in designing experimental procedures and protocol to accomplish its three-fold focus to enhance water conservation, protect water quality, and develop the appropriate SDI technologies for the region," the society's announcement said. "Lamm has been dedicated to providing SDI technology to irrigation producers and irrigation professionals."

He has created educational materials and presented information about subsurface drip irrigation at county and state meetings to help producers make informed investments. He has attended and given presentations at the annual three-state Central Plains Irrigation Conference and has been a co–principal investigator for multistate subsurface drip irrigation field day programs and site tours, and been an active Irrigation Association participant.

Lamm has authored or coauthored more than 315 refereed journal articles, national and international conference proceeding papers, and technical and trade publications. His research and technology-transfer efforts have extended to international presentations and consultations in Israel, South Africa, Spain, China, and Kazakhstan.

In his 35 years as a member of the society, he has been active in several committees, was proceedings chair of the Fifth International Microirrigation Congress, and served as chair of the Kansas section. He is currently associate editor for the southwest division.

Lamm was named Irrigation Association person of the year in 2012, and earned other American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recognitions. He is a member of several other irrigation, soil science, and agronomy societies.