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4 Things to Think About Before Investing in Irrigation Technology

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Written by Steve Sveum |

Since 2003, remote irrigation technology has come a long way. Back then, people still had to use paper maps to navigate. A lot of people still used film cameras. The idea of buying things on the Internet was fairly new, and Facebook was still a year away. The pace of technological change is getting faster every month … seemingly every day.

But one thing hasn’t changed since 2003. In fact, it hasn’t changed since 1954. Valley® is still the irrigation innovator.

The original remote technology hardware and software was mostly just for monitoring, with very little control of center pivots available. Since that time, our smart irrigation solutions have evolved to become a comprehensive remote farm management tool. Growers can now monitor and control 100% of their irrigation equipment and functions remotely from any smartphone, tablet or PC and even get irrigation recommendations from our Valley Scheduling™ software platform.

Grain_temperature_monitorGrowers can now monitor and control all of their irrigation equipment and functions remotely from any smartphone, tablet or PC.

Growers can also integrate many additional applications around the farm, such as pumping, soil moisture monitors, grain temperature, and interactive load demand management with participating power companies.

Sixteen years ago, it was pretty straightforward – get a text when the pivot starts, stops, or loses power. Otherwise, most pivot management still needed to be done at the actual pivot point.

For growers who haven’t yet invested in remote technology, all these options can be overwhelming when deciding how to begin.

Technology advancements benefit growers both financially and in quality of life. Here are four quick things to consider:

1. The Million Dollar Message

Many of our customers have told us about a “million dollar text message” – that single text alert letting them know of trouble on a pivot hours before they would have known otherwise. Those messages often save them many times the cost of fixing or replacing the equipment. For example, overlapping pivots that would have crashed. A mechanical problem or stuck pivot that stopped watering during a critical crop stage. Or a blown fitting or hose pumping water unnecessarily all night (or worse – fertilizer).

2. Support After the Sale

Proper installation and technical support are critical, both locally and from the equipment manufacturer. Valley sells and installs only through its comprehensive dealer network of trained experts. They know the software AND are trained on all brands of irrigation equipment it can be installed on. Don’t rely on a company that bypasses your local dealer or isn’t familiar with every piece of the equipment puzzle. You don’t want to find yourself caught in the middle when equipment is not working and you need to irrigate.
 Support afer saleRemote irrigation management means more than 'monitor and control': reporting and agronomy services are an important part of industry-leading Valley technology.

3. Reporting and Agronomy

As I stated earlier, remote irrigation management has become more than Monitor and Control. AgSense has the most comprehensive historical reporting and agronomy software features of anyone in the industry. This isn’t usually the first thing growers consider when making the decision to equip their farm with remote pivot irrigation systems, but once installed they wouldn’t do without it.

4. Quality Time

How much time do you spend driving back and forth, turning water on and off? Remote management can save you hours over the course of a week, and days over the course of a growing season. So what would you do with more time? What if you could check things even when you’re at your son’s ballgame, at the coffee shop or at a barbecue? How much is that time worth to you? To your family? Give that some thought.

One other thing: Don’t let a mixed fleet of machines prevent you from considering remote management of your irrigation. With the Valley ICONX smart control panel, you can bring your whole mixed pivot fleet – electric and hydraulic – into one network.

To experience how remote irrigation management can add to your bottom line and improve your quality of life, contact your local Valley dealer today.

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