As the drought and heat drag on and farmers grow increasingly discouraged about the future, it's hard to make an investment of time and effort in ongoing education.
But members of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and the Kansas Ag Research and Technology Association are hoping that farmers will look past weather challenges and sign up for the Kansas Applicator Institute, the merged version of what used to be two annual summer programs, KARA's annual applicators' education event and KARTA's Precision Ag Field Day.
The KAI will be Aug. 8 and 9 in Great Bend at the Highlands Hotel land the Expo fairgrounds and will offers a unique blend of networking and educational opportunities.
It will focus on how producers and retailers can work together to best utilize precision technology in crop protection application and spraying. Program topics will include nozzles, future of reducing spray drift, herbicide modes of action and more.
KARTA president Dietrich Kastens said the goal of the joint workshop is to bring retailers and producers under the same roof to gain efficiencies in sharing information but more importantly to help them better understand how to work together in modern business arrangements for sharing information,.
"Gone are the days when throw down an FSA map that has been photocopied a hundred times," he said. "There are lots of data move back and forth and a lot of efficiencies to be gained."
Event organizers say they are concerned about a low level of registration so far that may indicate that producers don't understand this is their annual opportunity for both applicator training and a chance to ride and drive new precision ag equipment.
"This event has always been very well attended and received by local producers," said KARTA member Roger Brining. "We have always worked with Bob Wolfe from K-State, but he retired last year. Now
I am concerned that some people don't understand the new format and are about to miss out on a great chance for education and experience."
For registration, exhibitor or sponsorship information please go to www.ksagretailers.org or call 785- 234-0463.