Data Leads to Smarter Center Pivot Irrigation

Published online: Nov 22, 2017 News

Source: Valley Irrigation

Information is one of the most powerful tools growers have in their arsenal – and the methods we use to gather it are always advancing.

These days, growers can gather data about soil moisture, aerial imagery, weather conditions, yield mapping and more. They can enter their data into a program or hub to analyze it, and then use that information to decide how and where to plant, what to plant, the best time to fertilize, and of course, the best way to irrigate.

Ashley Anderson, Valley® Irrigation Product Manager, says irrigation data is easy to gather with today’s technology. “Both AgSense® and BaseStation3™ gather near real-time data from the field,” she says. “Center pivot irrigation growers use this data to determine when to irrigate and the proper amount to apply, using water and power more economically.”

According to Anderson, a challenge that growers face is how to use the data they collect.

“It can be quite overwhelming,” she says. “There is so much to sort through, and they’re out trying to run daily operations as well. That’s why Valley is always working on continuous improvement to turn data into information, leading towards smart panel center pivot irrigation products. We want to make it as easy as possible to use the data productively.”

Anderson points out that growers interested in learning more about the technology and data available to them have many resources. They can learn from studies published through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, trade shows, their own water districts and at irrigation.education.

“As software data progresses, growers will have more information available to them, especially with soil science,” Anderson says. “They’ll be able to provide exactly what the crop needs for optimal plant health. There is so much potential, and the proper use of data can only improve water application for better crop yield and quality.”