9% of farms water efficiently

This is a bad number considering we are in the year 2015, and experiencing record drought. You might think efficient irrigation is with “high efficiency nozzles”, Pivots, or most obvious, sub-surface drip-and you would be correct…sort of. Drip is the last innovation by our industry friend Simcha Blass, who later went on to found Netafim, a world leader in Micro-Irrigation products, but not much else has changed since 5 decades ago.

Today, the only step we can take further-as of yet-is to use information to determine when to fill those drip lines, and to manage the other systems with data as well. This includes the Pumps, Filters, and Nutrient Injection systems (Also widely known as Fertigation). Information is power in today’s world of high output, low input type economy.

Data is the difference between irrigating 3 hours per set versus 5 hours. Its’ the difference between finding a leak the next morning, or as it happens. Its’ the difference between using 20kWh of electricity to pump versus 12kWh in an irrigation cycle. Pivots, Drip, Sprinkler, or even gravity fed irrigation can all be made significantly more efficient; Not by laying pipes and valves in the ground, but rather by intelligent water management platforms such as IRRInet.
Benefit of Automating (not in order of significance):

“See the Action”, and adjust-either manually or automatically

On-Time, Every-Time

Adjust power to the “Action”

Make micro adjustments often, rather than large adjustments seldomly

Simplify complex irrigation schemes with Virtual tools and Virtual sets

Real-Time water and nutrient adjustments to maximize yield on the least inputs.

We are aiming to make every farm an intelligent one. Hence, Intelligence Moving Water™

By |May 19th, 2015|Automation, irrigation|Comments Off on 9% of farms water efficiently

Precision Ag-New Technology That’s Proven?

Want to be a guinea pig? How about the first, second, or even tenth customer of a new car that uses your body heat to take you from A  to B. Hmm, sounds intriguing and I’m convinced! Almost.

Weather based irrigation started becoming mainstream around 2006, and allowed organizations to irrigate based off of ET in an efficient manner. It was big. Wireless Irrigation came about in the 70’s (Thanks to Motorola), and what a concept it was! Now you can control a valve from 10 miles away, and not dig a big trench, or drive 13 miles to open/close the valve’s.

Then again, we were sending men to the moon in the 60’s.

Today, we are seeing new products entering the marketplace for Precision Agriculture technologies. Automatic valve control  down to the sprinkler! Automatic scheduling of irrigation programs, wireless soil moisture probes, web based VFD (variable Frequency drive) control, automatic analytical tools, and more! Sheesh. What happened to an irrigation clock? To be honest they are still in the vast majority, but that’s changing exponentially in some areas that are affected by unexpected weather.

Does all this high-tech help? Short answer: Yes.

Does it help your bottom-line? That’s a grey area.

In order for technology to actually improve your bottom-line beyond being “convenient”, you actually got to use it to what the system was designed to do. Otherwise, it’s just a convenient luxury.

We had to take a step back for a moment and say “farmers like to be in control. They need to be”. Whether driving their Tractor on manual, or shutting off a valve. Across all of Motorola’s product offering, the system only provides what the farmer is willing to accept to still be in control.

PROVEN- The interesting […]

By |February 25th, 2014|Automation, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Precision Ag-New Technology That’s Proven?

Feeding the World of Tomorrow

The World is ever-changing.  The first evidence of man moving water to irrigate a crop dates back to 1800BCE, and since then, the population has grown by a mind boggling amount.

Today, there are around 7.1 billion people on this planet, and every single one of us requires two things before anything else: food and water (though I must admit, I don’t think I could live without my morning coffee!).
Image Source: Wikipedia
Irrigation technology up until the 20th Century did not progress rapidly, and that still is the case today. For instance, Simcha Blass installed the first pilot Drip System in 1959, yet less than 10% of farmers in the U.S use drip irrigation today. Drip irrigation systems can use up to 65% less water than flood (or Gravity Feed), which is the most widely used method of irrigation in the U.S currently.
The savings is a big deal, but yielding double digit percentage gains in the producers tons per acre, coupled with the water savings, equals more food and water available, as well as less expensive food and water across the board.
In developed countries, the world is meeting food production demand, but at ever-increasing costs. The smaller farmers are struggling to be profitable because of their small margins, and small economies of scale. It is at these levels we need to be concerned.
How is Motorola solving these problems?
In a basic explanation, we are taking thousands of bits of data and turning them into an action when the action is needed. For example, irrigating at 2:30AM for 22 minutes at 850 GPM or until moisture reaches 25% for zone 1. Automated Water Management gives the crop what it needs, when it needs it. No more, and no less. […]

By |December 3rd, 2013|Automation, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Feeding the World of Tomorrow