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Making Hay: ICONX Smart Irrigation Control Panel Helps Canadian Grower

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Written by Andy Oerman |

Like most growers around the world, Cale Hubka has a lot on his plate.

He took over Hubka Hay from his father five years ago, after renting land since age 18. The operation now consists of over 10,000 acres, mostly growing forage like alfalfa, timothy grass and mixed hay, as well as some wheat and peas. He’s in charge of all harvest operations and water management.

“Forage keeps us busy all summer,” Hubka says. “We seed in April and May. Then come the first of June, we’re getting into the first hay crop, and we don’t stop until early October. When I’m so busy putting hay up, it’s challenging to manage irrigation when we’re baling overnight.”

Hubka_hayManaging a farm of forage crops spanning 10,000 acres can take a lot of time, but ICONX helps growers like Cale Hubka save time and be more efficient.

More Efficient Irrigation Management

But he says Valley® ICONX® makes a big impact on their efficiency. “We can be more timely with our water management and shut down when we need to. We save time overall, especially travel time.”

Hubka rents some land but owns most of their 10,000 acres. “We’ve got all makes and models of center pivots on the rented land,” he says. “I just started with ICONX this year. I tried out two for a bit and fell in love, and bought another batch of them.”

ICONX takes control of existing center pivot control panels using the panel’s circuits and delivering full Valley ICON® touch control, no matter the pivot brand. Managing a mixed fleet is much simpler with the ICONX, Hubka says. “It’s night and day.”

Of Hubka’s 29 circles, seven are under Valley pivots. “I wish they were all Valley,” he says. “But we’ll get there.”

He has seven ICONX panels so far, with two more on the way, and plans to get at least four more this winter. “We’re taking on more ground. One farm is a two-hour drive away, and we’ll put an ICONX on every machine out there. That would be a lot of time spent on the highway, so if I can log in on my phone, I can move a machine or shut it off. I get complete functionality with the ICONX.”

ICONXThe ICONX smart panel for farm irrigation takes control of existing center pivot panels, no matter which brand, using the panels' circuits and delivering full ICON touchscreen control.

Staying Alert with Irrigation Alerts

Another thing Hubka likes is the alerts ICONX sends to his phone via AgSense®. In a few instances, coyotes have chewed the lines going to his Nelson sprinklers. “I can look at the list view on AgSense and turn the water off. It’s a big water saver.”

Alerts help with pumping, too. “We pump out of the river, and a few of our pumps aren’t very reliable,” he explains. “If any pivot shuts down, I get an alert almost instantaneously, and I can deal with it before the pivot makes a half circle without putting down any water. ICONX makes complete sense.”

To experience the benefits of ICONX or any of our other smart irrigation control panels, contact your local Valley dealer today.

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