Thursday, August 29, 2013

Valley Irrigation Field Days | by Shannon Peterson

Waste water center pivot discussion

August 26 Field Day at Fair Oaks Farms
Valley® Irrigation just hosted the second of this summer’s three Field Days welcoming international visitors. 

Each year, Valley hosts hundreds of international visitors who travel to the United States to learn about this country’s farm practices. The guests are interested in touring farms, Valley dealerships, and the Valley Irrigation factory. This year we decided to step up our efforts and turn these events into world-class educational events. 

Each Field Day includes industry leading representatives from Valley, local universities, Nelson® Irrigation, and Senninger®

The first Field Day, in late July at Taylor Farms in Ames, NE, focused on corn and soybeans. The most recent Field Day – Monday at Fair Oaks Dairy in Fair Oaks, IN – had a slightly different twist: waste water management.

In addition to learning about center pivot irrigation equipment, irrigation technology, water application technology, and crop management, our recent guests—from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, and other countries—witnessed first-hand how an Indiana dairy recycles the manure of 15,000 cows. 

Simply put: the cows’ waste is used to grow the crops the cows eat. 

The manure is broken down, mixed with water and applied via Valley center pivots onto the crops used to feed the cows. No other fertilizer is needed because of the abundance of nutrients in the manure. It’s a complete, efficient sustainable system.

Naturally, the process is far more complex than outlined here. But as we approached a center pivot and saw brown water emitting from the sprinklers and end gun, the simplicity and, dare I say, “beauty” of the system generated exclamations in multiple languages.

The brown water also had us exchanging looks that crossed any language barriers. Wide-eyed looks that said, “What is this going to smell like?”

Our final Field Day, on September 9 in Grand Island, will offer insight on potatoes grown in Nebraska and sold to national potato chip makers. That should make for entirely different experience, and smell.

For more information on our final Field Day, and to register, visit

Shannon Peterson
Marketing Content Editor

Shannon joined Valley Irrigation in 2013. She enjoys traveling with her family, particularly to national parks, and she occasionally writes about her travels for Home & Away magazine. Shannon also likes reading, trying new restaurants, seeing movies, and watching Husker football and Creighton basketball. However, she and her husband spend most of their free time chauffeuring their teenage son to activities and chasing their baby daughter.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Shannon, this is such a neat idea and it makes so much sense to fertilize the food with waste from the cattle! I am sure that along with the mixture that an irrigation schedule is key.