The use of data in farm management is a hot topic in all areas of agriculture these days. Precision ag tools are leading to strategies such as variable rate seeding, geo-referenced yield monitoring, and many platforms for machinery management. Each of these systems is capable of generating a great deal of data.
Data science applied to irrigation is no exception. As technologies such as connected machines, soil moisture sensors, and variable rate irrigation are becoming more commonplace, the irrigation-specific data stream is expanding rapidly.
I am not sure who said it, but the quote comes to mind: "We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge." Growers need tools that turn these endless streams of data into actionable information to help them take full advantage of opportunities to increase yield and optimize inputs.
At Valley®, we are actively participating in a variety of consortiums focused specifically on the ag data arena. We know that the appropriate application of this mix of technology can significantly improve productivity and curtail waste. We also know that the inappropriate application of such technology can be a waste of time and resources, as well as a source of great frustration.
Another quote from an unknown author comes to mind, "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should." Technology is a great enabler, but it can be nothing more than a distraction. This brings to mind another quote I heard from the late Stephen Covey, "Technology must be your servant, not your master."
Recently, we rolled out BaseStation3™. BaseStation3 represents the most powerful, yet flexible, irrigation management platform ever developed. BaseStation3 turns data from a variety of agronomic sources into relevant, understandable information that will aid irrigation management decisions.
BaseStation3 will continue to evolve and add features, but make no mistake, BaseStation3 will not be a distraction. This platform is focused on managing irrigation. That means helping growers make irrigation decisions based upon timely, accurate, and relevant information from a variety of sources; then turning those decisions into irrigation applications through connected Valley machines.
It sounds simple, but it's easy to get distracted. At Valley, we are focused on the science of irrigation. As far as BaseStation3 goes, your servant awaits.
Director of Industry Relations
Andy has spent more than 27 years involved in the irrigation industry as a farmer, contractor, designer, salesman, and trade representative. At Valley, he manages strategic relationships for mechanized irrigation technology across a broad range of applications. Andy lives in northern Michigan with his wife, Kim, and his daughter, Madison, and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities.