Like most growers, Nick Hatcher is a very busy man.
In addition to owning and operating Hatcher Land and Cattle, a farming operation near Liberal, Kansas, he is actively involved in a fertilizer chemical business and an ethanol operation. He also has four children – three boys and a girl – who keep him on the go.
“I have a senior in high school, twins that are sophomores and a little girl who’s a sixth grader. All my children are athletes. The boys are playing football, and I coach my little girl in basketball,” he said. “Between my family, the farm and the other businesses, I have a lot of demands on my time. I’m always looking for tools that can help me utilize my time more efficiently.”
This year, he added FieldNET Advisor to his irrigation system – a new tool that delivers the information he needs to make faster, better informed irrigation decisions.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m skeptical sometimes of new technology until it’s proven to me. But we decided to jump in with both feet when we went with FieldNET Advisor,” he said. “It’s one of the tools that I’ve found truly works in helping me be more efficient.”
With FieldNET Advisor, Hatcher receives continuously updated, science-based irrigation recommendations that are customized for each of his fields. After entering the field’s crop type, hybrids and planting dates, FieldNET Advisor:
- Dynamically tracks the amount of water available to the crop in the soil at every point throughout the field by combining a soil map of the field, proprietary dynamic crop canopy and root growth models, hyper-local weather data and the real-time as-applied irrigation amounts.
- Creates a high-resolution map displaying the amount of water available to the crop across the entire field.
- Forecasts the crops' future water needs and predicts when and where, without additional irrigation, the yield will begin to decline due to water stress. It also calculates the amount of yield that is likely to be lost due to stress, which varies based on the crop’s development stage and severity of the stress.
- Automatically generates variable rate irrigation (VRI) prescriptions, which are updated daily throughout the growing season to account for the actual and forecasted weather, changing crop water requirements and as-applied irrigation.
- Integrates into FieldNET’s powerful remote monitoring and control platform, giving growers the ability to immediately put their irrigation decisions into action and monitor their progress.
While Hatcher expects FieldNET Advisor will help him conserve water and reduce costs associated with natural gas and labor, he says the biggest benefit is peace of mind.
“I can tell you that with all the activities our family is involved with, it’s reassuring to know that we have a tool that we can use to check the status of our pivots and know that we’re continuing to do a good job of taking care of our crops,” he said. “I know there are other products out there that are similar to FieldNET Advisor, but there’s a certain amount of comfort with having a known company like Lindsay standing behind this. It’s just a good tool to have.”
For more information about FieldNET Advisor, talk to your local Zimmatic dealer or visit www.myfieldnet.com.