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.
Looking back with a dealer’s perspective, I see now how much easier managing your pivot irrigation system can be when you utilize the technology that is available. Valley Irrigation has, for years, had the best control panels on the market. From the Valmonitor, the world’s first remote pivot control panel, to the Pro2, Select2 and TouchPro™ panels, to the new Valley ICONTM line of smart panels, Valley has led the way in pivot control panels for center pivot irrigation. When I sell a control panel to a grower, I’m not selling touchscreens and fancy buttons; I am selling peace of mind, reliability and confidence. The least tech-savvy grower can use the basic features of a smart panel to make irrigating easier, like daily operations, end gun programing and the patented Valley Cruise Control™.
With the recent release of the new Valley ICON series of smart panels, I truly believe that Valley got it right. I had always been big fan of the Pro2 control panel, so I was initially upset when I found out Valley was coming out with a new line of smart panels. However, my concerns over the new panels didn’t last long after I unboxed the first prototype ICON panel. It was evident immediately after turning it on that Valley had listened to what the dealers and what the growers were asking for. We wanted it to be easy to use but also powerful.
“These panels are lightyears ahead of anything else available.”
One of my favorite features in the ICON line is the AgSense® ICON Link that comes standard with every ICON smart panel. That means that every panel ships ready to be integrated with the AgSense or Valley BaseStation3™ network.
The ICON line of smart panels are game changers. Here are some basic details about the new panels.
- The flagship ICON panel, the ICON10, leaves nothing to be desired, with a big touchscreen display, intuitive interface, AgSense remote irrigation control ready, and optional Edge-of-Field WiFi.
- The ICON5 comes with the same feature set as the ICON10, but with a smaller screen and at a lower price point.
- The revolutionary ICON1 is the first smart irrigation panel to ship without an input screen (just three buttons at the panel), but you have complete panel control via a wireless display on your mobile device.
- Lastly, the ICONX provides all the same power and full-feature set as the other ICON panels. But, it was designed as an option for the grower who owns a non-Valley pivot irrigation system or an older machine and wants the features and benefits of a new panel. The ICONX brings any pivot system into the 21st century.
There has never been more technology available in center pivot irrigation than there is right now. As a dealer, not only can I provide a grower the technology to help him to produce a better crop, but also I can provide him with a quality of life that previous generations of farmers may have never imagined. With the new ICON panels and remote management tools like AgSense and BaseStation3, I can give a grower time. Time for his kid’s baseball game or dance recital. Time for a date night with his spouse. Giving a grower back his time is the most valuable thing I can do for them as his partner in the field.
As I grew up on that southwest Georgia farm, I always believed I was destined to be a farmer. Now that I am a proud Valley Irrigation dealer, partnering with growers across the region to help feed and support this great country, I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am thankful for all of the growers that I can support each day. The new ICON smart panels and other great products from Valley provide me the tools I need to keep growing so that I can meet the expanding demands of my growers.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Check out these next:
Introducing Valley ICON and the ICON10 Control Panel for Irrigation
Introducing the Valley ICON1 Control Panel for Irrigation