Thursday, August 21, 2014

Believing in the Future of Ag | by Kelly Cox

Earlier this month, we hosted the State Officers of the Nebraska FFA. The group came to Valley to learn about the company and the center pivot industry, as well as to get advice on career planning from some of our employees who are past FFA members. The State Officers also provided us with great updates on Nebraska FFA and ag education.

This group of aspiring agribusiness leaders reflected on their time with us in a recent blog post, which can be read here:

Valley Irrigation is a proud sponsor of the FFA "I Believe in the Future of Ag" campaign. 

Kelly Cox
Global Digital Marketing Manager

Kelly is a native of Omaha, NE, and has degrees in English and Web Development. She joined the Valley Irrigation Global Marketing Department in 2008 where she shares her love of web and all things digital marketing with her colleagues and the Valley dealer network. Outside of her life at Valley, Kelly enjoys reading, singing, and spending time with her family.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why It's Better to Grow Tomatoes With a Valley Center Pivot Than With Drip | by Antoine Quily

We asked a production farmer in Senegal why it’s better to grow tomatoes with a Valley® center pivot than with drip? This is the story he told us:

“From 1972 to 1995 we had 11 pivots, the equivalent of 600 hectares (ha). The pivots had reached the end of their potential and, we decided not to continue making our own cultures and not to renew the pivots.

In 1995 drip irrigation was fashioned, so we just kept a 70 ha farm with drippers and we gave up the pivots. I arrived in 2007 as production farmer, so I reclaimed land, which was primarily drip. In 2009, we bought a Valley pivot and so we went back to the pivot technology!

A Valley center pivots on tomatoes in Senegal.
I made this choice because with a Valley center pivot you can keep the temperature around the vegetation cooler. Here, the growing season is during the dry period of the year, so we really want to control the climate, especially if there is a major hot streak that can often happen. 

Other pivot benefits are operating costs that are well below drip irrigation, simplicity, and reliability.

In the tomato industry, I have noticed that with straight fertilizers, insoluble fertilizer, and soluble supplements, the culture goes very well. With pivots, the inputs are much cheaper than with soluble fertilizers we use with the dripper.

Working pressure between the pivot and the drip system is fairly equivalent, sometimes the pivot requires even lower pressure than drip. Our 60 ha Valley pivot works at 2.6 bars in the center. For drip, I work with 14 ha areas, and I need 1 bar in each one. So with drip I need at least 4.5 at the pump. Therefore, I have less gas/oil/m3 consumption on the pivot.

Drip irrigation maintenance also is much more expensive: I reinvest in valves each year because they break. I have to pay irrigators because the valves need to be opened and closed, and I have to change the material because the drip lines must be changed every year.

The Valley center pivot also a one very big advantage: here we don’t control the rain, but we are able to still work the soils with moisture provided by the pivot. Pivots can do it: you water what you want and then work the soils as needed, which includes controlling weeds. A Valley center pivot can do everything you need!”

Antoine Quily
Sales Territory Manager for West Africa and Northern Europe

Antoine joined Valley Irrigation in 2010. After supervising linear constructions in Eastern Europe during his first year with Valmont®
, he became Territory Manager for West Africa and Northern Europe. A native of France, Antoine has been traveling all his life, and has lived in Central African Republic, Reunion Island, and now Spain. He likes sports, music and spending time with his friends. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Goodbye Blogs Are the Hardest to Write | by Brooke Stover

After a little more than three years, I’ve made the very difficult decision to leave Valley® Irrigation for another job in Omaha. I am looking forward to the challenge, but looking back at all the great times I’ve had with this outstanding company; helping set up at Husker Harvest days, visiting the South for the first time for Sunbelt, and attending dealer meetings, which allowed me to meet those who are our boots on the ground.

I am a confident, capable young professional in great part because of the opportunities I was given and the experiences I had while here. Valley Irrigation has a strong management team that led this company to success and will continue to do so in the future.

Even though I am a short-timer, I have some things I want to say to the person who comes after me:

1. You must be kind to the people I have grown to care about and worked alongside the past three years: You are very lucky to be completely surrounded by awesome people both inside and outside building 516 in Valley. Know that the marketing team is “where it’s at!” I am biased – there are other great departments too…

2. You can’t take yourself too seriously (at least not all the time): You will wear some pretty rad safety glasses, a bright blue vest, and tennis shoes with a dress (I guess the dress is up in the air – some people don’t wear them) at some point in this position… Enjoy it – seeing the manufacturing environment and meeting the hard-working individuals behind the products gives a greater meaning to what you do.

3. Please scare Brian “Rocky” Roschewski for me. (I unfortunately did not leave work instructions for this one, but it’s incredibly easy.) Just be careful… he has a tendency to get you back.

4. I’m sorry that you will never get to be cube-buddies with Ben…that guy!

5. The trick to navigating your first trade show is to keep one of the product managers in sight at all times – they always know the answers to everything.

6. Here is a tip: If you’re having a rough day, take a laugh break. (Amazon reviews can be quite entertaining – I highly recommend the sugar-free gummy bears review and the 85-inch TV review). If you find something really good, then send it to the team – everyone can use a laugh now and then.

In all seriousness, it is incredibly bittersweet to leave Valley. There are many people to thank for the knowledge I gained. Matt, Michelle, Jill, Shannon, Kelly, and Cindy are a part of the greatest team I have ever worked on.

It is very difficult to say goodbye to the people who have been a part of my story. Those that occupied the cubes around me the past three years played a major role in some of my favorite memories… after all, laughing at Amazon reviews is more fun when you laugh with those around you.

I wish only the best for everyone at Valley and continued success for the company that I will always be a cheerleader for!

Brooke Stover
Global Marketing Coordinator

Brooke has been with the Valley Irrigation Global Marketing department since 2011. She spends her free time taking pottery classes; though she thoroughly enjoys this, most of her stuff is a bit lopsided. Brooke also loves to read and listen to Frank Sinatra. She enjoys traveling and has been to 19 countries with the goal to make it to six more in the next two years!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Valley Values – Advanced | by Matt Ondrejko

Advanced Technology is all the rage these days and is a key buzzword in every company’s marketing arsenal. To be honest, we often use it here at Valley® as well. In fact, Advanced is one of our five Valley Values – along with Reliable, Durable, Precise and Responsive. But, I think it is important to take a step back and really discuss what Advanced Technology means to growers.

At Valley, we approach technology as a means to make the user or the product more efficient, durable, or productive, not just in terms of megabytes and apps, but on the steel and rubber as well.

Advanced Technology is something every engineer and product manager incorporates into the new designs and ideas we test and develop. We look for the latest and greatest ways to make and coat steel, reduce flat tires, and remotely communicate with the pivot. This technology is meant to bring a better quality of life to our customers by reducing downtime and maximizing up time, so more personal time can be spent doing the things they really want to do.

Often technology is pushed on the consumer as a must have or a way to make things easier, with the company offering it not really understanding how the product will be used.

At Valley, we work hand in hand with our growers and dealers testing and evaluating what they like and what really makes them more efficient. We deliver technology, but on their terms, aimed at their needs and desires.

Technology is constantly changing and evolving. At Valley, we are leading the way, advancing the pivot and the way the world irrigates.

Matt Ondrejko

VP Global Marketing

The one word that can sum up Matt is "enthusiasm!" He likes to be on-the-go and have fun along the way. Matt loves music and the 1980s era. He is a child of the MTV generation and has a deep appreciation of all music genres (specifically, he is a huge Dave Matthews Band groupie). Matt has traveled to more than 70 countries around the world and enjoys learning about different cultures and people. He spent three years living with his family in Leuven, Belgium, trying to enjoy as many of the 700+ beers they brew there.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Come Play Under the Pivot in Omaha | by Jill Zwiener

Have you ever wanted to give your kids or grandkids the opportunity to stand right next to a life-size Valley® center pivot? Now is your chance!

On Saturday, Aug. 16, Valmont® is hosting the Picnic Under the Pivot at the Omaha Children’s Museum. A 45-foot Valley display center pivot will be installed on the grassy area right outside the museum.

Families are invited to stop by to enjoy food and drinks (while supplies last). We’ll be playing with large blocks, hula hoops, parachutes, and making big bubbles. There will be some giveaways, too.  The event is free to the public and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Picnic Under the Pivot is the kickoff event for us and the museum as we prepare for the October opening of the Once Upon a Farm exhibit. Valmont is one of the sponsors of the exhibit, which opens Oct. 18 and will run through April 20, 2015.

The Once Upon a Farm exhibit will teach kids and their families all about the role of agriculture in their daily lives. Throughout the exhibit, guests will encounter interactive displays that incorporate irrigation (a scaled down 25-foot Valley center pivot will be on display), machinery, livestock, crops, and other natural resources needed to create the food and everyday products we find at the store and use in our homes. The exhibit will be a fun way for families to learn about the impact of agriculture in Nebraska and around the world.

If you can make it to the Picnic Under the Pivot on Aug. 16, be sure you plan to spend a little time inside the museum too. It’s filled with hands-on exhibits and activities for children of all ages. And you won’t want to miss the special exhibit that’s only going to be up for a few more weeks, Dinos: The Big Dig! 

And don’t forget to come back after Oct. 18 to see the full Once Upon a Farm exhibit.

Mark your calendars today. I hope to see you there!

Omaha Children’s Museum
500 South 20th Street
Omaha, NE 68102

Jill Zwiener
Brand Manager

Jill joined the Valley Irrigation team in 2011. She loves country music, fountain soda, food, college football, and the ski slopes of Colorado. She enjoys using photography to freeze the precious bits of time with her family into pictures that she can cherish for years.

Monday, August 4, 2014

New options for the Valley VFlex Corner | by John Kastl

This spring, we introduced a number of new options for the Valley® VFlex™ Corner – including electronic sequencing, a 305-foot corner arm, and an inverted corner – for even more flexibility in designing a machine that meets the specific needs of your field. Let’s take a look at each of these new options to see how they make the VFlex even better. 

VFlex electronic sequencing is a computer-controlled module with an advanced, yet easy-to-use display that makes it simple to monitor, control, and even customize the sprinkler sequencing of your corner. This option uses the same area-based sequencing logic as the industry-leading Valley Precision Corner®, which provides excellent water uniformity. And, if you apply crop production chemicals through your machine, the built-in, user-selectable Chemigate mode automatically varies your machine’s speed for uniform chemical application with a simple, fixed-rate injection pump.

Electronic sequencing also comes with two powerful features for customizing water application under the corner. The first is an angle-based override. This feature allows you to specify which banks of sprinklers are on or off based on the angle of the corner relative to the pivot. This is handy if you have an area in all four corners of the field where you’d like to keep a few extra sprinklers running. The second feature is a built-in positon override table. This feature allows you to specify which banks of sprinklers are on or off by the position of the machine in the field. This can be helpful if there is a small area in the field that needs a little extra water or if you have an unusual field boundary and need more water there. Bear in mind that GPS Guidance is required in order to use position-based overrides.

The computing power behind electronic sequencing also allows us to control more sprinkler banks and in turn allows us to offer an even longer corner: the 205/100 VFlex, with the industry-leading water uniformity you’ve come to expect from Valley. This new 305-foot option is a great choice for rectangular fields where the corner arm is fully extended for a significant period of time.

Combining electronic sequencing with the swiveling inlet makes it possible to run an inverted corner, which means your corner moves through the field ahead of the base pivot when the machine is running forward (clockwise). Inverted orientation can be helpful in maximizing irrigated acres on part-circle pivots.

Here at Valley, we’re always working to help you increase your irrigated acres with options that meet your specific needs. Stay tuned for the next improvements to our corners!

John Kastl
Product Manager - Equipment

John joined the Valley Irrigation Engineering Department in 2000 after having spent 11 years at General Electric Aircraft Engines. Today, he manages the equipment products for Valley (center pivots, corners, and gearbox, to name a few), helping develop the next generation of Valley Irrigation machines. John enjoys photography, home renovation, and travel. On his third birthday, John watched the first moon landing!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

You're Invited to Our Field Days | by Michelle Stolte

Would you love to learn more about center pivots? Come to one of the Valley® Irrigation Field Days!

Which was the last organization that hosted a center pivot irrigation field day? Maybe a university? Or an extension office? Maybe no one in your area?

We are guessing that a lot of you may selected the “no one” answer, which is one of the reasons why, in 2013, we created our first field day, which was held at a grower’s farm near Valley, NE. 

Another reason we created the field days was that we were seeing (and continue to see) an increased number of visitors, especially those from foreign countries, coming to our facilities for a tour. Those visitors also were asking to speak with local farmers while they were here – thus the birth of the Valley Irrigation field day.

Our field days this year are being held in two locations – Valley, NE, and right outside of Fargo, ND. 

The Valley field day is being held August 26 here at our own, brand new, Welcome & Training Center (I’m a little biased, but the center is pretty awesome!). This event will incorporate a factory tour and a grower panel where the visitors will be able to ask local growers  questions about their production. 

Our second field day will be held September 11 near Fargo. Unfortunately, the drive would be rather long to work a factory tour into this one. Instead, we are going to a grower’s farm, visiting one of his many Valley pivots, and hosting a grower panel there as well.

Are you thinking you may already have something on your calendar for those dates? Your're right! August 26 is the first day of the Farm Progress Show, so visitors can easily attend our field day and then make the short drive to Boone, IA, to attend Farm Progress. September 11 is the last day of the Big Iron Trade Show in Fargo, so visitors can attend Big Iron and then come to the Valley field day.

So, are you intrigued? Want to find out more? Check out our registration website at to see a more detailed agenda. If you are so inclined, feel free to sign up to join us on August 26 or September 11!

Michelle Stolte
Global Marketing Manager

Michelle has been at Valley Irrigation for more than 10 years and is finally no longer a newbie! She has spent her entire time at Valley in the Marketing Department (international and domestic) and loves every minute of it. Michelle enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband. She also likes reading, swing dancing (although she isn't really that good...), and warm weather.