Water was once considered a limitless resource. We now know that fresh water supplies are limited and that the demands on available water will continue to grow. To safeguard water resources, growers are constantly evaluating their methods of irrigation. Numerous farmers are converting from surface irrigation to much more efficient methods, such as center pivot and linear irrigation.
Through years of research, Valmont® Irrigation has found that center pivots are much more efficient to install, maintain, and operate than surface irrigation. The Valley® brand of center pivots save growers substantial costs and ensure available, valuable water is being used efficiently. Valley center pivots also minimize risk and use the minimum amount of water for the maximum results. Non-traditional irrigation areas are now developing due to these factors, as growers become willing to invest in technologies that pay back greatly in years that provide very limited natural moisture.
Advances in farm technology allow for better irrigation management and increasingly accurate water application. That technology can span from simple choices to sophisticated management tools.
Producers can maximize their return on investment with longer Valley spans by increasing irrigated areas for greater returns and reducing per hectare costs. Longer spans decrease the initial investment in center pivot and linear machines by reducing the number of tires, gearboxes, and motors that need to be purchased. The reduced wheel tracks that come with longer spans also mean less crop damage and less wear and tear on equipment.
Valley engineers design and test the longer spans to withstand the most demanding strength and durability tests in the industry. These spans meet the same performance standards as all other Valley spans.
Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI)
Just as other variable rate practices focus on placing inputs where they belong in a field, Variable Rate Irrigation places water where it will do the most good across the field. VRI allows growers to irrigate their crops in the most efficient manner possible, resulting in the ultimate in precision irrigation.
With a combination of hardware and software, patented Valley VRI customizes water application based on topography information, soil data maps, yield data, and other factors. Based on a VRI prescription, growers apply water only where it needs to be – not in unnecessary areas such as ditches, canals, and boggy areas.
Advanced technologies, such as BaseStation3™ from Valley Irrigation, keep growers up-to-date on the status of their center pivot irrigation machines with text messages, email alerts, or mobile applications. VRI and soil moisture monitoring can be tied into BaseStation3 and monitored remotely as well. In addition to improving quality of life, this technology provides access to real-time information ensuring that the right amount of water is being applied precisely when the crops need it most.
Over the next 50 years, the fresh water we need for agriculture and basic human consumption will become increasingly scarce. In order to meet the rising global demand for food, more farmland will need to be irrigated. And, it must be irrigated efficiently to lessen the impact on our limited natural resources. Adopting new irrigation technology will allow farmers to satisfy the increasing demand for food and fiber while conserving natural resources. Today’s growers and Valley Irrigation are leading the way, feeding the world, and intensifying modern agriculture.