Precise water application, water savings and, of course, increased yields are just a few of the advantages of Valley® Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI). Growers everywhere are benefiting from it, and Valley continues to improve their VRI offerings for center pivot and linear precision irrigation.
Valley VRI is available with every Valley ICON® smart panel. According to VRI Product Manager Craig Bell, “Our customers requested that we make VRI available through their control panels, so that’s what we did. It just made sense. To use VRI Speed Control and VRI Zone Control through their Valley ICON panels, irrigators simply need to navigate to the corresponding VRI menu and select the VRI prescription they want to run.”
Drex Gauntt farms about 2,000 acres in southeastern Washington. He has been so impressed with the results he has seen with VRI – maximized production, minimized runoff and crop uniformity – that he is adding VRI Zone Control to six more center pivot machines.
“Any farmer who isn’t using VRI is making a big mistake,” Gauntt says. “It’s easy to use.”
VRI Is Available For Linears, Too
Growers who use linears also can benefit from VRI. According to Bell, VRI Zone Control technology for linears is completely different from any other offering, so extensive research went into getting it right.
“We worked with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to test the hardware and software,” he says.
UNL Agricultural Research Technician Perry Ridgway says the university worked with the beta version of VRI Zone Control for linears the entire 2014 growing season. Once it was programmed, it worked extremely well.
“I could let it run through the night, and I knew the water was being applied exactly where it was needed,” Ridgway says. “It’s a really great concept.”
The UNL testing helped Valley make adjustments to its programming, so end users will have the best product possible.
“Sending UNL test software and assessing its needs helped us develop the software to be more robust for all situations and users,” Bell explains.
VRI Zone Control is compatible with the AutoPilot Linear control panel, but growers will need software updates to their control panel and hardware updates to their linear machines in order to use it.
“It’s a pretty simple process,” Bell says, “but the payoff is really amazing. Given the right field conditions, VRI has the ability to pay for itself quickly by maximizing yield potential and, in some cases, reducing water and energy use. It gives growers greater control over their precision irrigation application.”
Contact your Valley dealer to learn more about Valley VRI.
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