Air quality has been a hot topic in Kansas for some time, especially due to prescribed burning every spring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Air Quality Task Force convened in Manhattan on Sept. 20-22 to further explore Kansas air quality issues.

The task force, which is comprised of industry representatives, farmers, ranchers and professors from across the country, meets three times a year at different locations throughout the United States, and is charged with advising the Secretary of Agriculture on major air quality issues.

After a tour of eastern Kansas and two days of meetings hosted at Kansas State University, the task force formed committees to address specific air quality issues, such as particulate matter from prescribed burning and emissions from feed lots. The committees will then identify further research that is necessary to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on policies related to these air quality issues.