Monday, March 28, 2011

Valley Dealer Open House | by Kelly Cackin

New Valley Dealer, Durham Pump Inc., will be hosting an Open House event next month!  Join them in the celebration!

What: Durham Pump Inc. Open House
When: Friday, April 8, 2011
Where: 2313 Durham Dayton Hwy | Durham, CA, USA | 95938
Time: Valley General Seminar @ 11 am | Circles for Rice Seminar @ 1 pm
RSVP and Contact: Dustin Bates | 1-530-891-4821 |

Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 5, 2011.

We look forward to seeing you in California!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rice Q & A | by Jake LaRue

As we expand the areas in which we research and collaborate, we are continuously asked questions about rice production. Two such questions came to my attention this week while I was in California:
  1. “Does the Circles for Rice team have experience with medium-grain rice production?”

    Answer – Our involvement with medium-grain rice has been minimal so far, but we have observed a growing interest in producing this grain in several areas around the world.

  2. “Rice growers who flood their fields may increase their water application depth to help the rice crop maintain higher temperatures in the crop canopy. When you irrigate with center pivots and linears, less water is applied at one time, which means that lower temperatures may be maintained in the crop canopy. Because of this, will growers who irrigate their rice with center pivots or linears have potentially lower rice yields?”

    Answer – We have not yet had the opportunity to prove or disprove the theory on a commercial scale.

Discussion Box Challenge
Do you have similar questions or concerns about irrigating rice with center pivots and linears?  Or do you have comments/more questions about the about questions?  Contact us either directly or via Discussion Box below.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Storm Damage in Valley, NE | by Kelly Cackin

Hail in Valley, NE | Looks like snow!
Broken window on vehicle | Unfortunately, this is my vehicle...

We had an unexpected, tornadic storm come through Tuesday afternoon.  Most of us in Valley, NE, USA, are grateful for auto insurance!

The storm went from a light rain to heavy winds and large hail in the time it takes to pop a bag of popcorn.  For about 10 minutes, we all huddled in the tornado shelters, biting our nails and worrying about our loved ones and property! Though we didn't have any tornadoes in Valley, this same storm produced an EF1 tornado in western Iowa later in the day.

In Valley, at least 60 MPH winds were reported; hail diameters measured between 3/4" to over 1" (ping-pong ball to golf ball least).

Most, if not all, vehicles in Valley sustained a lot of damage, including broken windows and mirrors, broken bumpers and fenders, and many, many, many dents.  Some vehicles are not drivable, while most are close to totaled. 

Because it IS that time of year again (ie: tornado season), make sure your tornado shelters are cleaned out and ready to use!  If yours are anything like mine, I've been storing my Christmas decorations and books in my shelter for the past 6 months...Also, make sure you have at least one flashlight and battery-operated radio that work.  Having several blankets on hand is also a good idea.  As someone who has pets and takes her pets into the tornado shelter with her (...), make sure that your pet carriers are ready to be used!  One last hint that my mother taught me many years ago - during tornado season, keep your jewelry (the stuff you don't wear everyday) and small items you would want to salvage in a spare messenger bag; this bag is easy to grab in case you need to take shelter.

Stay safe!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Valley Irrigation Now On YouTube and Twitter! | by Kelly Cackin

Some of you may have noticed the new buttons to the right of this post.  If you guessed that Valley Irrigation now has YouTube and Twitter accounts, you guessed right!  We're very excited to jump into the realm of social media!

As these accounts are still in their infancy, please visit the sites often for updates and new videos and Tweets!

Subscribe to our channel on YouTube - 

Follow us on Twitter - @ValleyPivots

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dry Wheel Track Options | by Jerry Gerdes

wheel tracks
Wheel tracks
Part-circle sprinkler
Options are available in sprinkler package designs that can help reduce the depth of center pivot wheel tracks. The wheel track depth is a function of the number of passes made across the field and the soil type. As the number of passes increase, the wheel tracks can get deeper, especially in heavy soils. Deep wheel tracks can lead to a drive unit getting stuck, yield losses due to downtime and costly repairs of the wheel track.

One option is to use part-circle sprinklers. With a 180 degree water pattern, the part-circle sprinkler is used in locations nearest the drive unit and positioned to spray the water away from the wheel track, reducing the moisture level in the soil of the wheel track area. Unbalanced forces from the 180 degree pattern require that a rigid drop material, such as galvanized drop pipes, be used to hold the part-circle sprinkler firmly in position. The number of part-circle sprinklers used around each drive unit is dependent on the sprinkler model (full-circle) water pattern diameter. The water pattern from the full-circle sprinkler should not reach the wheel track.

Part-circle sprinkler models are available in both fixed and rotating type sprinklers. It is recommended to use like sprinkler models for both part- and full-circle positions. For example, if a sprinkler package design is rotating sprinklers, the part-circle sprinkler should also be a rotating sprinkler model. Rotating sprinkler models available in part-circle are the Nelson® Rotator and Spinner. Fixed spray models are the Senninger® LDN® (Low Drift Nozzle) and Valley LEN (Low-Energy Nozzle) sprinkler.

A second option is boombacks. A boomback will move the sprinkler up to 15 feet (perpendicular) from the span pipeline, placing the sprinkler beyond the rear tire of the drive unit. The part-circle water pattern will be positioned opposite the direction of travel of the center pivot. Both drive unit tires are more likely to travel on dry soil in this type of installation. For part-circle center pivots or linears, double boombacks are available to place a part-circle sprinkler on each side of the span pipeline. Solenoid controlled sprinkler valves are available to run the part-circle sprinklers opposite the direction of travel when the machine changes direction, turning off the sprinklers in front of the machine.

Discussion Box Challenge

For those of you growing rice with a center pivot or linear this year, or have grown rice with a pivot/linear in the past, what have you done to combat wheel track issues?

Contact Us

Interested in growing rice with a center pivot or linear? Contact us directly!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

National Ag Day | by Kelly Cackin

Ag Day banner
Happy National Ag Day, everyone!

Every year, the United States celebrates National Ag Week.  One day during this week is designated as National Ag Day, and is celebrated in Washington, D.C., with coffees, meals and various events.  National Ag Day is committed to increasing public awareness about American agriculture.

The National Ag Day website is a must-see!  Included on the is a blog,various fun, educational resources, event planning ideas, contact information, and much more!

Here in Valley, Nebraska, USA, we were planning to make a cake to help celebrate National Ag Day, but we all kind of forgot to make it...BUT, we didn't forget about National Ag Day!

To find out more about National Ag Day and how you can help celebrate, visit .

Friday, March 11, 2011

Herbicide Issues Article | by Kelly Downing

I really like this article, from Delta Farm Press. It points out three key issues for all producers, which we should really consider as we prepare to go to the field.

First, herbicide resistance is a very important and ominous factor for all of agriculture. As Mr. Baldwin points out in the article, we should make it a foundational part of our operations to use practices to minimize or delay the onset of such resistance. This includes crop rotations, herbicide mode-of-action rotations, tank mixes and the inclusion of residual products. There do not appear to be too many new chemistries coming out in the near future, so we need to be good stewards and use what we have to the greatest effect and longevity.

Second, I think the new University of Arkansas “Flag the Technology” program is a good idea, one that deserves cooperation. It seems to be a simple, “low-tech,” low-cost way to effectively avoid application errors. In today’s high-tech ag climate, it is important to remember that we should use Best Management Practices (BMP); “best,” however, does not mean “most expensive” or “latest technology.” It is nice when it can mean something as simple as a flag.

Finally, the best advice he gives is the simplest: communicate. Sometimes we allow ourselves to get so busy that we forget the importance of simple things like the old “pickup meeting” with neighboring growers. When we stop talking, we start making assumptions about what others are doing and why. And, as one of my favorite maxims states: “Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups!” So, let’s not forget the importance of talking with our neighbors. It not only helps avoid problems, it just makes life better.

Discussion Box Challenge

What are your thoughts on the herbicide either mentioned or not in the article? What is your opinion of the new "Flag the Technology" program? Put your thoughts on in the Discussion Box!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Circles for Rice Update | by Jake LaRue

Another crop season is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere! Many of the Circles for Rice producers are finalizing their crop plans for their rice under center pivot fields, such as seed selection, weed control and irrigation plans.

This post includes some tips, recommendations and information to help you finalize your 2011 rice under center pivot plans.

Seed Selection | In areas where hybrid rice varieties are available, the Circles for Rice team has found the hybrids to be well worth the cost due to their increased early season vigor, excellent disease resistance and great yield potential.

Weed Control | When considering your weed control plan, take note that both the University of Missouri Delta Research Center in Portageville, MO, and the Circles for Rice team have found benefit with a split application of the pre-emergence herbicide to extend control. Apply about ½ of the normal pre-emergence rate and then plan to apply the second ½ early post-emergence.  If there is insufficient rainfall after applying the herbicide, plan to apply a light application of water (0.20 to 0.30 inches [5 to 8 mm]) with the center pivot to activate the herbicide.

Irrigation Plans | For an early season irrigation plan, and to get the rice crop to sprout,  it is recommended to plant into a moist seedbed rather than in dry soil. If the spring rainfall is insufficient, then pre-plant irrigation is recommended to establish a moist seedbed, which also may be part of the herbicide activation program. This is a distinct advantage of the center pivot – moisture control. You can apply what you want, when you want.

Discussion Box Challenge

For those readers in the Northern Hemisphere, are your planning to grow rice under a center pivot or linear this growing season?  How are your crop plans shaping up?  Have you come across any challenges and/or victories so far?  Post your stories and questions in the Discussion Box.

For those considering planting rice under a center pivot or linear, what concerns (if any) do you have?

Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to contact the Circles for Rice team at if you have questions or comments.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) Announcement! Mississippi

All information in this blog post is copyright of USDA NRCS.


Jackson, MS, February 8, 2011 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is taking applications for a 2011 statewide Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) to implement agricultural water enhancement activities on agricultural land for the purposes of conserving surface and ground water and improving water quality.

“AWEP has been available since FY2009. AWEP operates through program contracts with producers to plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through partnership agreements,” stated Al Garner, Mississippi Acting State Conservationist for NRCS. “The goal of this state-wide program is for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to enter into partnership agreements with eligible entities that want to promote ground and surface water conservation or improve water quality on agricultural lands.”

Each fiscal year, NRCS may make AWEP financial and technical assistance available to eligible owners and operators of agricultural lands who participate in approved AWEP project areas. Within Mississippi, only producers located within the Tunica County AWEP Proposal Area and the Mississippi Delta AWEP Proposal Area are eligible for financial and technical assistance.

Applications for AWEP are taken continuously throughout the year. However, to be considered for Fiscal Year 2011 AWEP funding, producers need to have an application signed and on file at their local NRCS office by March 11, 2011.

The intent of AWEP is for the Federal government to leverage investment in natural resources conservation along with services and non-Federal resources of other eligible partners.


The Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Local Working Group or the Farm Service Agency determines eligible producers for the EQIP program. Any farmer engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP. EQIP contracts may be for a tract, farm or multiple farms. Eligible land includes cropland; rangeland; pasture; private non-industrial forestland; and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

For complete information, please visit

Valley Presence at Mid-South Farm & Gin Show | by Kelly Cackin

Beale Street | Memphis, TN

Last weekend, several Valmont Irrigation employees, including Michelle Stolte (Global Marketing Manager, co-leader of the Circles for Rice project) and Sid Cameron (Territory Manager, member of the Circles for Rice team), gave Valley presence at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis, TN.  Michelle had a bear of time getting down to Memphis (not due to winter weather, mind you...), but the show was worth it!

Due to the show's location, we felt the show was a good opportunity to explore the reception of producing rice with a center pivot or linear.  We feel the project gaining momentum in this region of the country! 

Always at the forefront of technology, we have started to utilize Apple iPads at the trade shows we attend.  With the device, we can show visitors product demonstrations, their closest Valley Dealer, and rice under pivot information/photos/presentations, among many other things.

Valley booth
We would like to extend a warm thank you to all of the Valley Dealers who participated.  Thank you for your hard work and outstanding presence! 

For more information on the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, please visit their website.

Do you know of a trade show or convention that would be an excellent opportunity for Valmont Irrigation to explore rice under center pivots and linears?  Let us know in the Comments box below!