The weeks after harvest offer a window of opportunity to reflect on the past year. Did the 2017 growing season meet your expectations?Despite unpredictable weather in the last few months in certain regions, the general consensus is that 2017 was an average to above average year for most growers. An optimist might be satisfied with this level of performance, but there is always room for improvement. You can produce higher yields or a better-quality crop in 2018, but the big question is “How?”.
To answer that question, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. How efficient was your water or chemical usage? How precise was your application throughout the season? What can you do differently in 2018 to increase the quantity and quality of your crops?
What Does Your Data Tell You?
The best way to evaluate your growing season is to use the information available to you. First of all, take a look at your fields and identify issues that are impacting your precision irrigation. Maybe new tires would keep you from rutting out the field in certain spots, or possibly adjusting your center pivots would provide optimum water application in a particular area of the field.
Is It Time to Upgrade?
Second, consider not only hardware modifications, but also software improvements. Look at the amount of water used for precision irrigation and compare it with rainfall. Were there opportunities to save water and get the same or better yield? Monitoring total water application from both center pivot irrigation and rainfall can help you to gain a better understanding of how much irrigation you actually need. This is just one example of how reviewing data can help you improve next year.
One way to keep track of those numbers is to implement a precision irrigation solution, such as BaseStation3™ or AgSense®. The user-friendly features of these software applications will provide the data you need to continuously improve performance, year after year.
Have You Booked a Preventative Maintenance Checkup?
In addition to reviewing the data from your 2017 growing season, why not take advantage of these post-harvest weeks to get your center pivots in top shape for 2018? It’s a perfect opportunity to get your system winterized and schedule a thorough maintenance check by your Valley dealer. Now is a great time to get your panels up to date, your machines tuned up, and your precision irrigation software upgraded.
Your Valley dealer can help you identify ways to achieve even better results in 2018 and also provide the support you need to get there. Contact your dealer today.
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