When your pivots are operating on farmland that’s 17 miles away from the hub of the operation, you might be spending a lot of time in your truck.
“It’s 34 miles round-trip, and I was driving it twice a day to check on the pivots,” said Tyler James. “I was burning a lot of gas and beating up the truck – and the time really adds up.”
“I didn’t tell my grandpa. I just told the dealer to go down there and put Pivot Control on it,” he said.
James and his grandfather, Joe Martin, farm 2,000 acres of cotton and corn near Plainview, Texas. They irrigate with ten center pivots – three of which are Zimmatic. All but one are equipped with FieldNET, which gives them the ability to remotely monitor and control their irrigation system.
“I was really tired of going down there, and I had other things I needed to be doing around the farm,” Now, he said. “I don’t have to be at the farm to know what my pivots are doing. We always know what the system is doing – no matter what time it is or where we are. That’s a real benefit to me.”
James said his grandfather wasn’t sure they needed the technology, but he became a believer when it paid for itself in the first hour.
“A gas motor runs the irrigation on the farm that’s 17 miles away. We had been having a lot of trouble with it. We would get it going, leave the farm and return later to find out that it had shut off,” he said. “Right after we added FieldNET, we started the system, left the farm and immediately received an alert that it wasn’t working. We were able to turn around and take care of it without any downtime.”
Instead of twice a day, James said he now checks his pivots every two or three days. With the added time, he’s able to focus on other areas of the operation, and, with the peace of mind, he’s able to sleep at night.
“I used to lose a lot of sleep worrying about the pivots. I would wake up with an eerie feeling, wondering what might have gone wrong with them overnight – what disaster I might be waking up to,” he said. “FieldNET takes the worry away.”
James said FieldNET also helps conserve water.
“Water is a huge deal here, and we’re running out of it.” he said. “We have to make the most of the water we have. FieldNET helps us keep an eye on it, so we don’t waste it.”
James plans to add FieldNET to all his pivots this year, because it takes so much work out of irrigation.
“If I acquire more land, FieldNET will always be the first thing I put on the pivots,” he said. “I firmly believe that it’s the best thing you can do for your operation.”