New technology and improved farm equipment would seem to have made a farmer’s job easier, but the reality is that it’s just changed what farmers have to do. Farming is still a hard job. There are so many things vying for a farmer’s time that he needs to use these new technology products just to keep up.
Because fewer and fewer growers are farming more and more acres, today’s farmer has to become an expert not only in his crops, but in the technology and automation necessary to make a modern farm successful.
For example, a typical farmer today could be farming 2,000 acres essentially by himself. If his farm is irrigated, that means he’s keeping track of 12 to 15 center pivots and the pumps that supply those pivots. If those pivots and pumps are checked a couple times a day, that could be more than 50 separate stops during the farmer’s day. Yikes! Automating some of that work can make a huge difference in the amount of time a farmer has available in any given day.
Valley® Irrigation has been a leader in remote control and monitoring of center pivot irrigation equipment for decades. With products like Valley Basestation and TrackNet™, farmers can fully control and monitor their pivots remotely. Now, Valley Water Management is introducing Pump Connect™ to automate the operation of pumps supplying center pivots and other irrigation equipment.
Pump Connect is radio system that wirelessly connects a center pivot control panel to a pump control panel. When installed, Pump Connect will remotely start a pump when the center pivot calls for water. Now, all a grower has to do is go to his pivot , start the machine with “Water On,” and the pump will start automatically, saving the grower a trip to the pump site. If the pivot shuts off for any reason, such as “Stop-in-Slot” or a safety shutdown, the pump will stop automatically.
Here’s an experience a grower in Georgia recently had with Pump Connect. The grower stopped by the field to check his pivot, which was running fine. Twelve hours later, he stopped by again and the machine was stopped. About an hour after his first stop, one of the towers had gotten stuck in a wheel rut and the machine shut down. Pump Connect shut off the well when the pivot shut down. The grower was quick to point out that without Pump Connect, the well would have continued to run for the next 10 hours with the pivot not moving, making a huge mess!
Pump Connect is available for a variety of pivot/pump combinations. Not only can you wirelessly connect one pivot to one pump, but with the Multi versions of the product, you can connect a single well to multiple pivots, or multiple wells to a single pivot. In Texas, we have farmers using Pump Connect to control multiple wells pumps that feed a ditch to supply a linear. Pump Connect also can be used on engine-driven pumps to shut the pump down when the pivot shuts down.
Farmers today are as busy as ever, even with the advent of new time-saving technology. Pump Connect gives growers an easy, affordable way to automate the operation of the pumps that supply their pivots and provide them with peace of mind when the pivot shuts down.