Growing The Conversation

A Retrospective: How Irrigation Monitoring Systems Can Help Your Farm

“Windshield time.” A haunting two-word phrase for any business, operation or even a weekend outing. These two words can mean expenses, like gas, time lost, wear and tear on vehicles, and, in some cases, added liability.

At Valley® Irrigation, we want to help you to minimize your inputs and maximize your yields. Windshield time can be an easily forgotten, but crucial, input to consider when analyzing your center pivot irrigation. Like any part of your operation, you need to look back at the most recent growing season, tabulate the total cost it took to irrigate your fields, and then look for ways to cut down on costs without negatively impacting yield. This is where the Valley line of irrigation monitoring systems and new Valley ICON® smart panels can help.

Let’s put it into perspective. I challenge you to ask yourself, “How many total miles did I drive to my pivot over the course of the 2017 growing season?”

valley center pivot

For this example, let’s assume your daily drive is roughly 60 miles round trip to manage your center pivots. Combine this commute with an average of 75 irrigation days during a growing season, and you will have traveled approximately 4,500 miles. This commute will have burned about USD $750 worth of gasoline, put thousands of miles of wear and tear on your vehicle, and, most of all, taken over three days of your time. It is estimated that a growing season worth of windshield time could cost you more than USD $1,600 every year. But, every farm is different; you need to look at your operation and do the math yourself. How much time and money did you spend this year on irrigation travel?

Is the number you calculated higher than you expected? Maybe it’s time for you to take a second look at remote irrigation monitoring systems, and find out what you could gain from Valley ICON smart panels with AgSense® or BaseStation3™ built in.

Utilizing digital cellular technology, AgSense can give you control from anywhere you are for a USD $300 annual subscription. With Basestation3, you can gain unprecedented flexibility, choosing to control your pivots via radio, internet protocol or cellular data with no annual subscription. From a cost perspective, both solutions can yield an estimated savings of USD $1,300 or more a year by eliminating windshield time. With savings like that, you could yield a return on investment in less than five years on a Valley ICON10 control panel that comes with AgSense built in and ready to activate on day one.

That doesn’t even include the number of hours you will save by not driving out to the field every day. This means more time doing things that really matter, like spending time with family or having time to pursue another solution to elevate your operation’s productivity.

We know the amount of work it takes to be a grower, and that’s why we spend our time trying to provide you with solutions that can help improve your quality of life, reduce your inputs, and maximize your yields.

Contact your Valley dealer today to discuss how our remote management solutions could work for you.


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“Windshield time.” A haunting two-word phrase for any business, operation or even a weekend outing. These two words can mean expenses, like gas, time lost, wear and tear on vehicles, and, in some cases, added liability.

Preston Parmley

About Preston Parmley

Associate Product Manager | Valley Irrigation

Preston is an Associate Product Manager for Valley Irrigation. He is responsible for equipment management, including linears, engines, guidance and sensing devices.