A new product is quickly becoming a hit among growers and changing the way they manage their irrigation. FieldNET® by Lindsay Pivot Control is a new irrigation controller designed to upgrade almost any existing brand of pivot to full remote monitoring including variable rate irrigation control.
“Pivot Control makes it easy to have our older pivots operating like the new ones,” says Kirk Olson, fourth generation corn grower from Hershey, Nebraska, who installed the system on 32 of his center pivots, which range in age from new to 1970 pivot brands.
“We could immediately see the benefits by being able to check and control our entire irrigation system through a computer or smart phone.” Unlike other remote irrigation control products, Pivot Control mounts at the pivot point and combines with GPS at the end of the pivot for increased precision and greater flexibility.
Growers can operate their pivot in the field at the control box or remotely using FieldNET – both elements automatically update together – minimizing the chance for user error. From a smartphone, tablet, or computer, growers can control their pivots and equipment, including pumps, injectors, and monitor sensors for pressure, flow, soil moisture, rainfall, temperature, and other devices in the future.
Reece Andrews, FieldNET Business Manager for Lindsay, says growers looking to reduce labor costs and increase overall irrigation efficiency in their operations can especially benefit from Pivot Control.
“With farms consolidating, multiple pivot brands are being used,” Andrews says. “FieldNET and Pivot Control allow these operators to have one user interface on any system, regardless of brand or control panel. Increasingly, growers want to be able to control their entire irrigation system, from the pivots to the pumps and sensors, remotely and wirelessly from either their smartphones, tablets or computers.”
Pivot Control comes standard with basic 360-sector variable rate irrigation (VRI), offering twice the number of sectors available on most basic VRI products. Growers working with agronomists and crop specialists to analyze their unique field conditions can upload custom prescriptions to FieldNET with a touch of a button.
Sutton, Nebraska, grower Dusty Nunnenkamp has Pivot Control on 12 of his older pivots and especially likes the VRI capabilities it provides. “One of the main reasons we went with Pivot Control is because we use variable rate irrigation in our operation. It allows us to speed up or slow down our pivots according to soil types and the unique water holding capacity of the soils. It makes irrigation much easier and much more precise,” Nunnenkamp says. Growsmart® by Lindsay also offers Precision VRI with unlimited application areas.
Tom Faulkner, raises potatoes, corn, wheat and alfalfa, on his south central Idaho farm near Gooding. Faulkner recently installed Pivot Control on several of his older center pivot irrigation systems, including a pivot manufactured in the mid-1960s.
“This new technology on the older pivots is really handy because you are able to program different irrigation patterns into the system,” Faulkner says. “As long as I have a cell phone signal, I can start and stop my pivots remotely or just move the pivots dry so the guys spraying or applying fertilizer can do their thing."