Servi-Tech recently hosted guests from Ukraine on a week-long visit to western Kansas. Fred Vocasek of Servi-Tech was the tour guide and driver. 

The tour group was sponsored by BRIDGES, a company headquartered in Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. Fred has made three trips to Ukraine in the last four years, visiting BRIDGES farm clients to provide soil and nutrient management consulting.

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Visitors were Valeri (dryland farmer), Viktor (farm agronomist), Nickolai (translator), Igor (irrigated farmer), and Yuri (dryland farmer). Farm sizes ranged from 6000 to 12000 acres, producing mainly corn and soybeans, but also sunflowers and wheat. They each came from different areas of Ukraine.

 

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A lively discussion about water use, reduced tillage, and irrigation management between the visitors and the staff of the USDA-ARS Soil and Water Management Research Unit, Bushland, Texas.

 

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Entering the underground access of the weighing lysimeters used to measure soil moisture gains and losses.

 

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Underneath the lysimeter, a 50-ton block of soil connected to a counter-balanced scale sensitive enough to detect changes of 1 millimeter in the soil water status.

 

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On Monday, the group enjoyed an American tradition – rib, brisket, and sausage at Dyer’s Barbeque, Pampa, Texas.  They required a follow-up visit for more barbeque on Friday’s return trip.

 

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 The group visited the Dodge City Laboratory on Tuesday to see how their samples are analyzed.

 

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Observing the Servi-Tech drying and grinding process.  BRIDGES provides service to their farmer clients by collecting and preparing soil samples, shipping them to the Dodge City Lab for analysis. We return a bilingual soil report (English and Cyrillic) with fertilizer recommendations in metric units.

 

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Josh Austin of Servi-Tech Labs explains how we use the ICP to analyze soil, water, and feed samples.

 

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Meeting at the Dodge City office to discuss soil analysis and fertilizer recommendations. Josh Gordon, Servi-Tech agronomist, gave a demonstration of grid sampling and map generation.

 

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Lon Frahm, Frahm Farmland, Colby, Kansas, explains how they coordinate field operations and equipment.

 

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A field visit to observe strip-till operation.

 

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Checking out tillage and seeding equipment at Circle-C Farms, Scott City.

 

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 David Schuette demonstrates operation of a Dragon-Line irrigation system.

 

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The group compares yields and necessary field operations with Charles Nicholson, Nicholson Ventures, Dodge City.

 

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DeKeta Shuckman explains bulk handling methods used by Nicholson Seeds.

 

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Brad Estes, Bucklin Tractor & Implement, answers questions comparing credit terms and equipment service options that are available to western Kansas farmers to those that are seldom available to Ukrainian farmers.

 

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Making the acquaintance of “El Capitan”, statue honoring famous long-horn bull that led many cattle herds from Texas grasslands to Dodge City railhead.

 

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Shopping for cowboy souvenirs.

 

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Visit to Boot Hill Distillery, home of “Prickly Ash Bitters” to celebrate Valeri’s birthday.  Because of the 7 hour time difference between Ukraine and Dodge City, he was able to celebrate twice.

 

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Nickolai (translator) tries out a ride at Harley-Davidson store before heading to the Amarillo Venom arena football game.

 

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