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Remote-Control Irrigation Impacts
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.”