Friday, January 18, 2013

Valley® Water Their World™ Promotion

Donating $1 for Every New Facebook "Like"!

We invite everybody to join the effort to provide clean drinking water to children through our Valley® Water Their World™ promotion. Throughout the next few months, for every new Valley Irrigation Facebook “Like,” $1 will be donated to the charitable organization Planet Water. 

To date, we have donated $135 to Planet Water!  You, too, can make a difference - donate $1 today by Liking us on Facebook!

Planet Water is a US-based, non-profit international development organization focused on bringing clean water to the world’s most disadvantaged communities through the installation of community-based water filtration systems and education programs on water-health and hygiene. Planet Water’s projects are focused on schools, children, and rural communities who lack access to clean, safe water. (

Planet Water’s goal is to help five million people gain access to safe water by 2020. Reports published by the World Health Organization and UNICEF show that 884 million people in the world do not have access to improved drinking water sources. Each year, 3.6 million people die of water-related diseases. 

In 2011, Valmont Industries, the parent company to Valmont Irrigation, donated five Planet Water AquaTowers to rural communities in the scenic mountains of Wenshan, China, bringing clean water to 5,000 people.  A photo book of this project was created by Planet Water - check it out here!

Mark Steele, Founder and CEO of Planet Water, commented: “We are grateful for the generous support from Valley Irrigation. This thoughtful donation will help provide clean, safe water to the world’s most disadvantaged communities through the installation of community-based water filtration systems called AquaTowers.” 

The accessibility of clean drinking water is a major concern throughout the world. Planet Water does an amazing job providing clean drinking water to people who need it most and Valley Irrigation is excited to make a donation to their cause. When you “Like” our Facebook page at, you will have an immediate impact on bringing clean, safe water to children. 

Valley Irrigation has had an active Facebook page since August 2012. The Valley® Water Their World™ promotion will be cross-promoted on the Valley Twitter and YouTube accounts, as well as through this blog.  Also, a Valley® Water Their World™ podcast featuring Mark Steele and the Valley Irrigation Global Marketing Manager is now available to either listen to on our website or download for later.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Conservation Innovation Grant

According to a recent article, the USDA will be accepting applications through February 15, 2013, for a program addressing the adoption of water-conserving methods to produce rice.  The article states:
"Rice growers in 13 Arkansas counties who agree to install pilot conservation practices under the Conservation Innovation Grant – Greenhouse Gas (CIG-GHG) program have until Feb. 15, 2013, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices."
More information on this program, along with the full article, can be found at

The use of traditional flood methods to produce rice is a relatively inefficient use of water.  When using center pivots and linears to produce rice and other crops, water use can be reduced by half or more. For more information on growing rice with center pivot and linear irrigation, please visit

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sitting in the Control Seat

Originally published in Winter 2012 edition of PivotPoint.

For decades, it was a well-known fact that growers couldn't get away during the growing season.  Weekends off and family vacations were simply not an option.  For many growers, that's still the case.  But for those who use Valley TrackNET™ products, life is quite different that it use to be.

The TrackNET family of web-based irrigation management products provides growers the ability to manage their center pivots and linear systems remotely.  Through a computer, laptop, tablet, or even a smart phone, growers can monitor, manage and control their irrigation systems.

According to Valley Irrigation Controls Product Manager John Rasmus, TrackNET is the only management system available in multiple languages - English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

"It's also the only one on the market that allows growers to upload Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) prescriptions," says Rasmus.  "That information allows growers to apply water much more precisely.  There's no guesswork involved."

Bill Walker grows cotton, corn and soybeans on his five-thousand acre family farm about 40 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee.  He's used his TrackerSP since he started irrigating with seven Valley systems in 2008.

"The first thing I do when I get in the morning is go to my office and see if anything needs my attention," says Walker.  "If there are any issues, I can usually go out and take care of it myself.  Unlike some of my neighbors, I don't have to spend an entire afternoon driving around and looking at each individual machine to see what's going on, because it's right there on my screen."

Justin Miller, Division Manager of Tennessee Tractor in Jackson, Tennessee, agrees with Walker's assessment.  "Bill's Trackers work perfectly with his Valley Pivots, controlling every function.  It's almost like being out in the field at the control panel, only he doesn't have to drive to each one."

TrackNET products can monitor and manage any brand of center pivot or linear, and control everything from turning machines on and off, to programming application rates, to monitoring chemigation and even viewing historical information and weather reports.


"When it's storming at night and my machines are running, I can shut them down from bed.  I just have to roll over and grab my phone," says Walker.  "It's great because it gives me the tools I need for maximizing efficiency, plus I get the extra benefit of not having to out and shut each one down at the site."

Walker's TrackNET also allows him to get away - even during the busy times.  "For example, I was sitting on the beach and saw that one of my systems had an issue.  All I had to do was make a call, and I got it fixed.  That's pretty amazing."

Chuck Messersmith of Western Valley Irrigation in Alliance, Nebraska, says they're currently installing 30-plus new TrackNET systems on customer Craig Maas's farm.

"Craig saw that the new TrackNET products had evolved enough that he wanted to add Tracker products to all of his control panels.  He's a very progressive farmer who travels a lot, so he'll really benefit from the control he'll gain with his new Trackers.  He can manage his pivots from anywhere in the world - literally."

TrackNET products don't just provide freedom and peace of mind.  They also provide savings.  By programming machines to run during off-peak times, growers can get a break on electric rates.  It takes fewer man hours when each system doesn't have to be checked in person.  Of course, TrackNET allows growers to control the amount of water used or applied by each machine, as well.

Walker says, "My experience with Valley and TrackNET products has only been good.  I've saved time and money, and the customer service has been very fast."

"You can't put a dollar amount on having peace of mind while spending time with family," explains Walker.  "Until you have a Tracker, you don't realize what a difference it makes."