Thursday, March 28, 2013

Take It From A Pro

Originally published in Spring 2013 edition of PivotPoint.

Growers who have non-computerized control panels on their irrigation machines will soon have another product to monitor and control their machines remotely - Valley TrackerPro.

TrackerPro is the newest member of the TrackNET™ family of products, providing growers the ability to monitor and manage their pivots from their computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Now available, TrackerPro is compatible with both Valley and non-Valley pivot control panels. It installs easily right at the pivot point and now allows efficient and extensive monitoring and control capability for Valley Classic, ClassicPlus, and other brand non-computerized pivot control panels. 

"TrackerPro takes non-computerized pivot panels to a new level," says John Rasmus, Valley Product Manager. "The capabilities are very similar to computerized panels now. I think a lot of growers will be excited about how much easier their lives will be once they start using it."

With TrackerPro technology, growers can now add  GPS Position and other important position based functions, like end gun control, stop-in-slot (SIS), and sector programming to Valley mechanical and non-Valley control panels with TrackerPro technology.

Sector programming control is a new feature which allows the user to remotely control as many as nine different management sectors and control the amount of water applied in each sector.

With TrackerPro, growers can check on the status of their irrigation machines from their computer, tablet, or smartphone, and remotely program end guns, SIS, application depth, and load management schedules anywhere there is internet or cellular access.

Rasmus explains, "This is a powerful tool for growers who have non-computerized control panels, because they can see what's happening with their center pivots from anywhere, eliminating numerous trips out to their pivots. They have so much more control without being at the site. We're really excited about what this new product offers growers."

For more information on the Valley TrackerPro, and other TrackNET products, visit

Friday, March 22, 2013

What Are You Doing for World Water Day? | by Kelly Cox

Today is World Water Day!  Every year, World Water Day brings awareness to the importance of freshwater resources, as well as to the sustainable management of freshwater.  This annual event is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.

To learn more about World Water Day, visit their website at!  The website offers something for everyone, including a build-your-own World Water Day logo (check out our logo on the right)!  Build your logo today and share it on your social media channels, email signature, or even print it out to hang in your office!  

Help us bring awareness to the importance of freshwater resources.  Donate $1 for clean drinking water by Liking us on Facebook. Each dollar raised will be donated to Planet Water, a non-profit that focuses on bringing clean drinking water to the world's most disadvantaged communities.

How will you help bring awareness to freshwater resources?  Post your ideas below in the Comments box!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy National Ag Day! | by Kelly Cox

Happy National Ag Day, everyone!  Today we celebrate agriculture - what it provides to each individual and how it contributes to the larger picture of life.

National Ag Day was founded in 1973 by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), and the program focuses on bringing public awareness to agriculture - from farm to fork.  Agriculture is incredibly important!  It holds a substantial place in our society, providing food and fiber to each household.

Valley Irrigation invites you to help celebrate National Ag Day by posting a "thank you" note to a special farmer in your life.  To do this, visit the Valley Irrigation Facebook page and post away! Or, Tweet your "thank you" by using "MT: @ValleyPivots."

For more information on National Ag Day, and ideas for your celebration, visit

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Grower Meeting in...Siberia??? | by Cole Fredrick

Crazy snow I drove in
Alright, so we all know I wasn’t in Siberia the other day, it just felt like it! I was asked to present at a Valley dealer's annual open house (K&T Irrigation) in Fargo, ND. I thought this sounded like a good opportunity to get out of the office, so I gladly accepted and decided to make a road trip on up there. It’s about a 6-hour drive, in good weather… Unfortunately, the weather was rather distasteful. There had been some snow on the ground. Really light, powdery snow. When you mix this with 30-40 mph hour winds, you can get the picture….

On the plus side, I was able to make it to Fargo safe and sound! When I arrived there, I was quite pleased to see a group of 50 growers listening intently to Mike Boyd, one of our Territory Managers. Mike was doing an excellent job explaining the Valley line of products and what we had to offer. He finished off speaking about some of the new technology that we are releasing, as well as the technology we are working on. This brought the attention to myself. I was very pleased to speak about Valley VRI (Variable Rate Irrigation) and the advances we have made with the product. The overall attention of the crowd was excellent with the growers learning about the new technologies and really wanting to move forward with new products.

Meetings like these always help to appreciate the job a little bit more. Now if only I can stay away from blizzards…

If you have any questions on VRI, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment below, or contact me directly at  We also have some great information on our website

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Marketer's Take on World Ag Expo 2013 | by Kelly Cox

Well, another year of the World Ag Expo has come and gone.  As I get older and have now entered my "late 20s" (as my sister so eloquently put it), time seems to go by faster than it used to - which, I've found out, is normal!

Each year, the World Ag Expo is held in Tulare, CA, about 46 miles south of Fresno.  Like many other shows we've attended in the past several months, the attendance was staggering - a total of 100,000 people walked through the gates between February 12th and 14th.

This year, the Valley Irrigation booth had, for the first time, sod, and it was fantastic all around!  Not only did it dress up our booth, but also did it provide much-needed comfort for our backs and feet.  Along with the sod, we displayed several Valley products, including the DropSpan™, CableGuard™, 8000 center pivot, TouchPro™ control panel, and Valley VRI.  The guys from Valley Water Management and CES were also there, answering questions on their products and services.

We had steady traffic in our booth throughout the show, and we were certainly glad to have our dealers Valley Irrigation Service out of Madera, CA, and Durham Pump from Durham, CA, along with us for the ride to help answer questions and keep the booth running smoothly!  For the first time since I started to attend this trade show, a lot of vacationers from around the USA and beyond attended the show and stopped by to say "Hello."

Valley Product Manager John Kastl gave a presentation on the Valley DropSpan during the Hay and Forage Seminar on Tuesday morning (great job, John!).  The DropSpan allows you to irrigate more land that you already own by detaching the outer spans of a center pivot to irrigate near an in-field obstruction (like a building).  Director of Research and Development Jake LaRue also spoke during the show for the Irrigation Association Seminars; Jake presented on using center pivots for chemigation (great job to you, too, Jake!).

Top 3 Things I Learned at World Ag Expo in 2013:
  1. If you like peaches, visit the Cowboy Peach Cobbler booth.  They cook the cobbler in cast iron pots using only hot coals as the heat source.  Quite amazing to see!
  2. If a person is wearing a black shirt and khakis, they are a booth staffer at the show - doesn't matter for what company!  Seems to have become the universal trade show uniform or something...
  3. Visit the Bari Olive Oil Company booth for infused oils and vinegar.  Good stuff.  And, you can take some home with you!

The World Ag Expo is scheduled for February 11- 13, 2014.  See you next year in Tulare!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Center Pivot Irrigation is Key: My Experience at Mid-South Farm and Gin Show 2013 | by Cole Fredrick

Hopefully you had a chance to attend the 2013 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show on March 1st and 2nd in Memphis, TN. This was another indoor trade show held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. If you got a chance to attend, you certainly heard about ginners! With cotton being one of the main commodities in the southern states, I learned quite a bit about the cotton industry and the equipment used! Obviously, being from Nebraska, it was an eye opener. The one thing I did learn quickly is that center pivot irrigation is still key to making profits in the industry.

As you were walking around the show, you would notice the huge cotton pickers on display along with all the other machinery and equipment. You would also have heard names being called out for the cash drawings they had throughout the day (I never heard my name). 

Of course, if you were down in Memphis, you better have some BBQ! It was great to have Corky’s right there with a place set up! I must recommend the BBQ nachos, delicious!

If you get a chance, mark your calendars for next year, as I guarantee the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show will again be a success!

P.S. Make sure you make a stop on Beale St. and, although in an alley, Rendezvous is the place for ribs!?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting Ready for 2013 | by Kelly Downing

We are finally into the final month of winter. Despite a few bitterly cold periods and a couple of significant snow events, my impression is that it has been a relatively mild winter here in eastern Nebraska. Sure, for a few days in December I was stuck alone in a house without power and with two annoying little dogs, but that is just part of the charm of country living. At least I had wood for the stove. Never did like that table, anyway.

As we head into spring and prepare for the 2013 growing season, it looks like rice prices may still limit “marginal rice acres.” That is, a lot of producers still seem to prefer planting corn and soybeans to rice in the areas where they can easily shift crops. I sense a little hope in the air, though, as rice prices tweaked up a little recently. We will have to see how the drought persists and what happens to other commodity prices, as well as watching the state of the general economy. However, I am NOT an economist, and that’s not why I am writing today.

Over the past several years, as you probably know, we have pursued the idea of bringing pivot rice into the realm of accepted practices for most growers. This is not to convert all the flood fields to pivots, but to provide a reasonable alternative for growers who need one (lack of water, sandy soil, hilly ground, or other crop rotation issues). One big factor holding back the concept has been risk; specifically, this practice is not covered by crop insurance. We have been working with several industry partners to develop coverage for pivot rice. One way we have supported this effort is to provide data from our cooperators to establish both yield expectations and best management practices for this type of practice.

It is extremely valuable in this effort to have side-by-side comparisons of pivot rice and flood rice. Several of our cooperators have been very helpful in this effort, and we want to continue these comparisons in 2013. We are looking for producers who have a pivot where they are interested in growing rice fairly close to a flooded rice field. If we can produce data from fields that are close together with similar soils, grown by the same manager and with the same variety/hybrid, we can really help the validation process.

If you think you might be interested, call me (402-359-6051) or send me a note ( and we can talk about the possibilities. I will be happy to visit your farm and discuss how to move forward.

Thanks for your interest. Keep warm and be safe gearing up for the new crop season!