Growing The Conversation

Irrigation Management Technology Improves Efficiency of Family Farms

The USDA issued a report earlier this year (2017) tracing the increased size of family farms. Since the report was issued by a government agency, it is not surprising that it provides plenty of statistics to back up this claim. To reference just one, the midpoint size of family farms more than doubled over three decades, increasing from 589 acres in 1982 to 1,234 acres in 2012.

The USDA defines a family farm as an operation in which the principal operators and their relatives (by blood or marriage) own more than half of the business’s assets.”

Based on that definition, it is clear that a family farm has a limited number of laborers available. How, then, have family farms been able to drastically increase their acres of cropland? The report offers an explanation:

“Ongoing innovations in agriculture have enabled a single farmer, or farm family, to manage more acres… Farmers who take advantage of these innovations to expand their operations can reduce costs and raise profits because they can spread their investments over more acres.”

In a single word, this explanation can be boiled down to “technology.”

Ongoing improvements in irrigation management technology, such as AgSense® and BaseStation3, have made it possible for one or two people to efficiently operate increasingly larger operations.

Regardless of how many center pivots or linears they are running, growers can remotely set application depth, start time, stop time and, in most cases, start center pivots from wherever they happen to be. Once irrigation season begins, growers no longer need to drive out to the field several times a day to check on the status of their irrigation system because their irrigation management technology provides text notifications of status changes or shutdowns.

grower on tablet

If growers want to be more precise in their irrigation management, they can set up variable rate irrigation speeds or zone prescriptions, write Step programs that tell the machine exactly how and when to run, and even set up schedules when the machine is not allowed to run, such as peak load periods when the local utility company charges higher rates for electricity.

Several irrigation companies offer technology with these capabilities, so what makes irrigation management technology from Valley® the best?

  1. Valley ICON® panels include our patented, exclusive Cruise Control feature.
  2. Only your Valley dealer can give you the option of either BaseStaton3, AgSense or a smart, integrated combination of both systems.
  3. Only Valley ICON panels come with AgSense built in, ready to connect.
  4. Only AgSense gives you the ability to set up different speed tables by direction.
  5. Only BaseStation3 gives you an integrated engine set control option, allowing you to remotely start, stop and monitor engine or generator sets.
  6. Only AgSense includes a year-round theft monitoring feature.
  7. BaseStation3 gives you access to the only Restricted Entry warning notification in the industry.

What else puts Valley irrigation technology solutions above other irrigation companies? Contact your local Valley dealer today to find out!



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10 Unique BaseStation3 Features for Center Pivot Management
BaseStation3 Offers Option of No Recurring Fees

The USDA issued a report earlier this year (2017) tracing the increased size of family farms. Since the report was issued by a government agency, it is not surprising that it provides plenty of statistics to back up this claim. To reference just one, the midpoint size of family farms more than doubled over three decades, increasing from 589 acres in 1982 to 1,234 acres in 2012.

John Campbell

About John Campbell

Senior Global Manager of Technology Advancement and Adoption
Valley Irrigation
John trains and educates Valley dealers on the latest technology products. He also serves as a liaison between growers and product development teams, ensuring Valley responds quickly to growers’ changing technology needs. John lives in Omaha, where he pursues his many hobbies, including classic cars and running.