Valley® Irrigation center pivot dealers across the country are busy helping farmers get their operations ready for the upcoming growing season. Some of their preparation includes getting growers more acquainted with their new Valley ICON™ smart panels. Valley spoke with dealers Keith Grimm of MWI in Hiawatha, Kan., and Jeremiah Johnson of Central Valley Irrigation in Holdrege, Neb., to see how growers are reacting to the new center pivot irrigation smart panels.
As with many industries, technology has advanced the farming industry considerably in the last two decades. The latest ag technology provides growers with the tools to improve efficiency and increase their yields. These advancements come from a variety of sources – machinery, mobile applications and business intelligence. By using these three irrigation management tools, growers will be poised to manage their farms focused on the future, while still having time to enjoy today.
Over the past few years, we have seen more and more people adopt home and personal automation tools; these have simply become a way of life. Google, Amazon and Nest, among others, have taken the automation market by storm and have created a demand for connecting people to the internet beyond just using a personal computer. Here is our Complete Beginner's Guide to the Internet of Things (IoT) for Irrigation.
Popcorn is an entertainment snack food staple in America. From the local little league game to the multiplex theater, popcorn is the first snack we reach for. It is so common that we often don’t stop to think about where it comes from and all the work that goes into making that perfectly fluffy treat.
The ICON line of smart panels from Valley® Irrigation were made to meet the varying needs of growers. Each of the four control panels come with the same full set of center pivot control features, such as daily operations, Cruise Control and variable rate irrigation(VRI). But each were uniquely designed to stand apart and fulfill different needs that were proposed to us by real growers.
In March, many farmers (at least those of us here in the North) are planning for the upcoming crop season. These plans involve hybrid selection, fertility needs, equipment replacement and the like. One area that we seem to forget about is irrigation. The hot, dry days of summer seem like a distant dream, far away and not very relevant.
In south central Nebraska water is plentiful and farms are everywhere you look. It’s the perfect place to use new technology to make the most of that water, using it effectively, and finding new ways to become more efficient while maximizing yields.
As many of you know, Valley® Irrigation is a global company. Farmers from all around the world utilize Valley center pivot technology, like AgSense® and BaseStation3™ irrigation monitoring, to increase their yields and water efficiency. Like local growers, international farmers face the same yearly challenges of running a farming operation. This includes proper pivot maintenance during the winter season.
Brian Petersen, along with his son, brother and nephew (Bennett, Steve and Mark, respectively), grows corn, soybeans and specialty crops like seed corn and annual rye near Minden, Neb. As Petersen puts it, they have a very “mixed bag” when it comes to pivots and control panels, and that can make farming their rough, sandy soil even more challenging, especially when it’s spread over 30 miles.
Before becoming a Valley® irrigation dealer, I was a regular dirt farmer like many of the growers I now work with. I grew up on a 4500-acre row-crop farm in southwest Georgia. We had 45 pivot irrigation machines, a mixture of Valley pivots and “the other guys,” and not one smart panel or remote pivot control unit. Needless to say, we ran ourselves ragged, checking 45 pivots twice a day while also putting in a full day of planting, spraying and pulling weeds – you know, farming stuff. This was all before auto-steer was available on tractors, so we had to actually drive the tractors, not just turn them around at the end of a row… but that is beside the point. Let’s get back to pivots and control panels.