RE­MOTE-CON­TROL IR­RI­GATION IM­PACTS

SUB­STAN­TIAL WA­TER SAV­INGS IS NOW POS­SI­BLE WITH RE­MOTE AC­CESS CON­TROLS.

Successful Farming - - IRRIGATION INSIDER - By Thar­ran Gaines

Lind­say Cor­po­ra­tion has an am­bi­tious goal to help farm­ers world­wide save 734 bil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter and 1.2 bil­lion kilo­watts of en­ergy by the year 2022. Some of that sav­ings can be at­trib­uted to soft­ware ad­vances re­cently be­ing in­tro­duced like Lind­say’s Field­Net re­mote man­age­ment app.

Like Val­ley Ir­ri­gation’s BaseS­ta­tion3, Reinke’s ReinCloud, and T-L Ir­ri­gation’s Pre­ci­sion Link sys­tem, Field­Net al­lows cus­tomers to per­form a wide range of mon­i­tor­ing and man­age­ment func­tions from their cell phones or me­dia de­vices. Each one of to­day’s re­mote man­age­ment apps pro­vides the po­ten­tial to save time, wa­ter, and en­ergy.

con­trol wa­ter­ing by the weather

How­ever, it takes more than the use of re­mote ir­ri­gation man­age­ment apps alone to achieve this scale of wa­ter and en­ergy sav­ings. To do that, it also re­quires tech­nol­ogy like that found in the re­cently in­tro­duced Field­NET Ad­viser sys­tem, which tracks crop devel­op­ment and ad­justs ir­ri­gation rec­om­men­da­tions based on weather his­tory and the crop’s wa­ter re­quire­ments. With Ad­viser, ap­pli­ca­tion can be pin­pointed to crop needs.

An early adopter of re­mote ir­ri­gation man­age­ment, Man­ito, Illi­nois, farmer John Breedlove ob­serves, “I’m lucky, be­cause I have a great aquifer. It would be easy to just push the but­ton and run the sys­tem when­ever I want, but I don’t think that’s the right way to do things any­more. It’s im­por­tant to me to un­der­stand how my crop is us­ing wa­ter, so I can be more ef­fi­cient with my ir­ri­gation and maybe bump up my yields, too.”

Mean­while, equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers con­tinue to de­velop new fea­tures that have the po­ten­tial to move pro­duc­ers even closer to their wa­ter-sav­ing goals.

Randy Wood of Lind­say notes that Field­NET was re­cently up­graded with sev­eral new fea­tures that cus­tomers had re­quested. Those in­clude the abil­ity to en­able or dis­able auto-restart and auto-re­verse and to set pivot speeds based on full-cir­cle time. Field­NET also of­fers en­hanced alert ca­pa­bil­i­ties with new push no­ti­fi­ca­tions and a stop com­mand for mul­ti­ple piv­ots.

For good mea­sure, the soft­ware in­cludes a func­tion for eas­ier end gun setup with aerial views and a fine-tun­ing “nudge” fea­ture that al­lows you to set end gun start and stop po­si­tions with the tip of your fin­ger.

other soft­ware ad­vances

Val­ley also in­tro­duced a num­ber of con­trol soft­ware ad­vances in­clud­ing BaseS­ta­tion3, which al­lows you to man­age and mon­i­tor equip­ment from within other man­age­ment sys­tems, as well as share ir­ri­gation data with an agron­o­mist, seed com­pany, equip­ment man­u­fac­turer, or other provider.

At the same time, Val­ley en­hanced its smart ir­ri­gation tech­nolo­gies by in­tro­duc­ing an up­graded ver­sion of the AgSense mo­bile app while also of­fer­ing Val­ley Sched­ul­ing. The later soft­ware al­lows you to en­ter farm in­for­ma­tion; pref­er­ences; field data such as soil, crop type, and devel­op­ment stage; and a weather in­for­ma­tion source. The soft­ware com­piles the data and shows how much wa­ter crops need in an in­tu­itive map or list view.

“Val­ley Sched­ul­ing gives me the op­por­tu­nity to have ev­ery­thing at a fin­ger click,” says Greg Juul, Her­mis­ton, Ore­gon. “It’s al­most an­other set of eyes in the field in terms of where my soil mois­ture is, es­pe­cially with crit­i­cal crops. It gives me the op­por­tu­nity to make some ed­u­cated, quick de­ci­sions.”

Al­bert Mau­rin of Lind­say Ir­ri­gation points out some of the fea­tures of Lind­say’s new­est Field­NET app us­ing a gi­ant ver­sion of an Ap­ple iPhone.

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