Today's technology can be exciting and terrifying sometimes. Some tech is forced into our lives as products and processes evolve; while other tech is often available, but may remain overlooked or ignored. As 2018 closes out and we prepare to welcome 2019, I thought I'd share some tips and insights into today's technology in irrigation.
There are many remote monitoring and control platforms out there to keep up with your equipment and processes. Some are completely free, like the Valley Run Time app. This app allows you to manually input your pivot information, and confirm when you start your machine. It then keeps a calculated list of each machine and when it might reach it's full irrigation cycle. This eliminates the need for irritating math, random notes, and requesting your wife to remind you to shut off the pivot at a certain time. Although it doesn't eliminate any of the physical labor or trips to field, it does help organization and reduces the possibility of human error with calculations. Other platforms like the AgSense line of products trade a small yearly subscription for peace of mind that your equipment is working like it's suppose to be, where it needs be. With options to merely monitor the equipment's current state, to full control from practically anywhere. This remote access technology has the potential of saving the user countless hours of valuable time and eliminating frustrations of not knowing whats happening when your your not there to babysit things. Some services like Valley Scheduling give you complete access to real-time data on your own farm to tell you exactly when and how much to irrigate. This info sets you up to get the maximum value for all your hard work, irreplaceable time, and invested resources. Regardless of your chosen path to using technology on your farm, here are a few tips to help you make the most of it:
- Be Informed - Attend grower meetings, read blogs and news publication, talk to your neighbors, attend farm shows, and most importantly reach out your local irrigation and crop professionals. Knowing whats out there and how its being used will help you know what you might be able to improve within your operation.
- Update Apps - More and more tech services are app driven. Some applications update automatically, while other need to be manually updated. Using the most current version of the app eliminates user issues as well as ensures you're getting use the all the features available. Check your apps often to make sure you're always up to date.
- Upgrade - Technology is always changing. What was top of the line yesterday may be obsolete tomorrow. Periodically trading out existing equipment for the newer model ensures that you're always getting the biggest bang for your buck. Just because existing equipment is functioning fine, doesn't mean it couldn't be done better, faster, and with more efficiency.
- Try It - Take advantage of field trials/demos and money back guarantees. Most organizations that that introduce technology to their operations realize they would have benefited from it long ago.
Written By Nick Coble