Valley Irrigation has formed an agreement with CropMetrics, a precision agriculture data services company that specializes in variable rate irrigation technology. This agreement creates an alignment of Valley Irrigation dealers with the latest in agronomic technology to provide growers true precision irrigation with center pivots. Valley Irrigation with VRI Zone Control, and CropMetrics with automated agronomic VRI prescription services, have also announced their AE50 awards for 2011 as a top 50 innovative new product produced in 2010.
“Precision irrigation starts with building a precise water management plan,” said Craig Malsam, Valmont Irrigation vice president of engineering. “Applying the optimum level of water and nutrients through a center pivot is more important than ever. We’re excited to be the first in our industry to supply a whole new dimension of precision irrigation through our agreement with CropMetrics and their optimization service available through our Valley dealers.”
“As our single most valuable natural resource, applying excess water is an unnecessary cost,” said Nick Emanuel, CropMetrics president. “Apply too little water, and yield potential is now lost as well. Our solution is to optimally apply water specific to soil type. We’re excited to work with Valley dealers and offer Valley customers the ability to take precision agriculture to the next level with our unique precision agronomic solutions and data services.”
CropMetrics specializes in full-service data collection, processing, and advanced yield analysis. The company supplies all proprietary Web-based software and large-scale data processing so agronomists, crop consultants, ag retailers and precision agriculture specialists can focus on providing fast, reliable and profitable precision agriculture programs for variable rate irrigation, nitrogen and seeding.
Valley Irrigation VRI Zone Control provides individual sprinkler or span control and is fully compatible with all new and existing center pivots equipped with the Valley Irrigation Pro2 control panel. The Pro2 panel uses power line communication to remotely manage as many as 30 VRI Zone Control units. This allows each individual control unit to be easily positioned at any point along the pivot span. Because the new VRI Zone Control utilizes the on-board computing power of the Valley Irrigation Pro2 panel in combination with power line communication, the added VRI equipment cost is very reasonable.
“We believe that combining Valley Irrigation control technology with CropMetrics precision services is the future of mechanized irrigation,” said Malsam. “Producers with pivot irrigation have always been able to control how much water is applied to a field. But this technology allows producers to control how much water, fertilizer and other crop management products are variably applied based on precise agronomic data.”