Monday, June 30, 2014

Save the Mailboxes - Get our Magazine in Your Inbox Instead | by Brooke Stover

Sign Up Here
As a marketer I should LOVE receiving direct mail, but I’ll tell you a secret, because of my living situation – I DON’T! I currently live in an apartment and that little box will only hold so much before I get a “friendly” note from the office that I should consider picking up my mail. (This may be main reason I bought a house – so the mail will come to my door!)

Because of my lack of space for mail in general, I would rather not receive it. I would much rather these items come to my email inbox where I can quickly see if it is something I am interested in and just as quickly click the trashcan button if I am not. (My current walk from physical mailbox to recycle bin is logistically impossible to navigate in one day.)

Another reason I prefer electronic communication is that I can easily refer back to the message or read it again later when I have time.

That’s just one reason why we, at Valley®, decided that it makes sense for us to offer our PivotPoint magazine to you electronically.

Technology is constantly evolving and we want to use that to your advantage by making stories about growers like you available online, on-demand, and from your tablet or computer. 

Make sure to sign up to receive your next edition of PivotPoint in your inbox. 

Your mailbox may thank you. Mine will, and so will management at my apartment complex.

Brooke Stover
Global Marketing Coordinator

Brooke has been with the Valley Irrigation Global Marketing department since 2011. She spends her free time taking pottery classes; though she thoroughly enjoys this, most of her stuff is a bit lopsided. Brooke also loves to read and listen to Frank Sinatra. She enjoys traveling and has been to 19 countries with the goal to make it to six more in the next two years!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Australia and New Zealand Dealers Share Ideas | by Martin Porter

Valmont Irrigation Australia entertained a few dealers on the Gold Coast in early June. It is the first time in many years that the dealers from Australia and New Zealand got together to swap ideas and meet those from different areas.

We talked about new products, competitive advantages, and dealer development, which we will be rolling out in the next few months. Guest speakers from Nelson Irrigation and Valley Finance shared information about their products as well.

After the hard work in the rooms of the Hilton on the Gold Coast, it was time to let our hair down at the Outback Spectacular. Unfortunately, not all the dealers that attended the training could join us due to meetings and Irrigation Conference commitments. The dealers that did go were impressed with the show put on that night, including a Tribute to Phar Lap, a great Australian race horse from back in Australia’s racing history.

The Irrigation Conference, June 4-5, had good attendance from the irrigation industry. At the Valley stand, we promoted Variable Rate Irrigation, GPS Guidance, BaseStation3™, and all our other products. There was much interest in BaseStation3 from dealers and farmers alike. We look forward to the roll out of this product over the next few months.

Martin Porter
Territory Sales Manager, Valmont Irrigation Australia

Martin has been involved with pumps since 1986 and irrigation since 1994. In 2003, he realized the future was efficiency in water movement and application, which led to his eventual position with Valmont. He has also worked in power generation, project management, total quality management, and real estate. In his spare time, Martin enjoys water sports, particularly sailing. He is a yachting instructor and trains up-and-coming Naval cadets.

Monday, June 23, 2014

At the Mercy of the Weather | by Shannon Peterson

Farming and the weather. It’s a never-ending confrontation, and 2014 is offering up some epic battles.

Growers in Texas, California, and other western states face severe drought conditions that show no sign of letting up. Severe heat aggravates the situation and poses the additional threat of wildfires.

Twin tornadoes hit Pilger, NE, and the surrounding area June 16.
Meanwhile, the Midwest is being torn apart by damaging storms and tornadoes. Valley dealers in Nebraska are dealing with multiple overturned or damaged pivots.

Many growers are scrambling to get their pivots repaired in time for peak irrigation season. Others are evaluating their devastated fields and determining whether to replant.

At either extreme – drought or damage – words of comfort are of little value. Action and solutions are needed.

However; at times like these, it is reassuring to know that your Valley dealer is on hand to support you. Service teams are out in the fields repairing and replacing damaged pivots. They are doing everything possible to get farms back up and running. In fact, I recently called a Nebraska dealer with a question. He asked to email him the question because, “we have a lot of pivots down in the area and I’m having a hard time concentrating on anything else right now.” That’s commitment.

Meanwhile, those battling drought can mitigate the effects by turning to more efficient irrigation equipment, such as center pivots. And, growers can get financial support from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and information and assistance from the USDA.

Let us help you  no matter what you need. We’re here for you.

Shannon Peterson
Marketing Content Editor

Shannon joined Valley Irrigation in 2013. She writes and edits materials about irrigation equipment. Shannon enjoys traveling with her family, particularly to national parks, and she occasionally writes about her travels for tourism magazines. She also likes trying new restaurants, seeing movies, and watching Husker football and Creighton basketball. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Keeping Up With Valley, Part III: Using as Your Go-to Resource | by Kelly Cox

If you’ve ever visited (and if you haven’t, I strongly recommend that you do!), you know that you can find extensive information on the Valley® product lines. But, I bet you didn’t know that our website can also be a valuable, go-to resource for you! This third, and final, installation in the “Keeping Up With Valley” blog series will walk you through five hidden gems that can offer you.

Hidden Gem No. 1: Brochures

Your local Valley dealer has a brochure for anything you can imagine, but sometimes you’re in a bind and can’t leave the house or office! Did you know that these same brochures are available for FREE download on You can easily browse by product, parts and applications, advanced technology, or irrigation comparison to find the brochure you’re looking for. Our brochures are kept up-to-date online, including the newest product details, benefits to you, and pictures.

Download Valley brochures today:

Hidden Gem No. 2: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We all know that you have millions of questions to ask about Valley center pivots, right? I mean, we’re all human, and humans are innately curious! We offer a variety of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and their answers on Of course, if there is a question that isn’t answered on, please contact your local Valley dealer or email us at to submit your question for inclusion on the website!

Find answers to your questions today:

Hidden Gem No. 3: Special Offers

Everyone likes a bargain – it’s another one of those human traits we all have! A newer hidden gem to is a complete list of our current special offers.

Find our latest special offers today:

Hidden Gem No. 4: What Growers Say (testimonials)
Valley is the leader in precision irrigation – it’s our company’s tagline. But, how do you know this is the truth? Growers who own Valley center pivots, linears, and technology are your source of truth. Testimonials from Valley owners, which we have coined “What Growers Say,” can be easily found on, and provide you with peace of mind that you are making the best choice by choosing a Valley.

Read what our growers say today:

Hidden Gem No. 5: Dealer Locator

Last, but certainly not least, is the Valley dealer locator. This hidden gem easily allows you to search for the Valley dealer closest to you. Simply select your country and state or province to begin the search. You may also enter your city’s name and postal code, as well as select a distance from your location, to narrow down the results, giving you your local Valley dealer in no time flat!

Find your local Valley dealer today:

There are many more gems on, and we encourage you to find them all!

Previous posts in the series:
Keeping Up with Valley Part I: Google Alerts 
Keeping Up with Valley Part II: RSS Feeds

Kelly Cox
Global Digital Marketing Manager

Kelly is a native of Omaha, NE, and has degrees in English and Web Development. She joined the Valley Irrigation Global Marketing Department in 2008 where she shares her love of web and all things digital marketing with her colleagues and the Valley dealer network. Outside of her life at Valley, Kelly enjoys reading, singing, and spending time with her family.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A New Way to Match Drop Hose Length to Crop Height | by Jerry Gerdes

It’s been almost 40 years since drop components were developed as an option for mounting sprinklers below a center pivot pipeline. 
Wrapped hose

Placing sprinkler devices close to the crop canopy improves irrigation efficiency by reducing evaporation and wind drift losses of the irrigation water. In many applications, growers will place the sprinklers just above their tallest crop, which could be field corn, silage corn, or sugar cane, to maximize the uniformity of application for all crops. However, for low growing crops, such as wheat, soybeans, or potatoes, application efficiencies can be reduced because the sprinklers are well above the crop canopy.

Growers wanting to maximize uniformity and application efficiency for all crops began looking for a way to change the sprinkler ground clearance for the crop being grown. One solution is to use flexible drop hose material and “wrap” the drop hose around the span pipe (photo at right . For tall crops, the drop hose is wrapped around the span pipe to raise the sprinkler. For low crops, the drop hose is unwrapped to lower the sprinkler.

Using a lift pole to hang the drop hose in the AquaDock.
Dale Shelton of Pasco, WA, is a farmer who saw firsthand the benefits of adjusting the sprinkler ground clearance by wrapping drop hoses to match the crops being grown. However, the time it takes to wrap drop hoses and the risk of injury while performing the task led Dale to develop a better solution. His solution is AquaDock™. 

AquaDock drop hose docking stations are a series of drop components that allow for two sprinkler ground clearances within one drop configuration. 

Using a lift pole, the sprinkler position can quickly be raised or lowered to match the crop being grown. The AquaDock products can be attached directly to u-pipes or can be attached around the span pipe. The span pipe mount also doubles as a span cable theft deterrent.

The AquaDock product is exclusively available through the Valley® dealer network. For more information visit the Valley website, or contact your local Valley dealer.

Watch this video to see how AquaDocks work:

Standard drops without AquaDock.

AquaDock drop hose docking stations with unlatched hoses on the left, and raised hoses on the right.

Jerry Gerdes
Product Manager - Water Application

Jerry, Nebraska-based Water Application Product Manager, contributes years of experience from his time working for a sprinkler manufacturer prior to joining Valley Irrigation. Currently working with different sprinkler manufacturers, Jerry develops the recommendations for the optimum water application package for a grower's operation.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Bitter-Sweet of Farming in South Africa | by Jacqueline Lourens

Farmers from around the globe will agree that farming is hard work and takes a lot of responsibility. It is certainly not an easy money-making venture either. 

Farmers today are businessmen and women and even entrepreneurs in their own right. They need to understand agriculture economics and farm politics as well as the art, science, and technicalities behind the operations on a farm.

Farming in South Africa can be extremely dangerous. Farm attacks in South Africa have reached its highest level in eight years. It is often said that being a farmer in South Africa is much more dangerous than being a police officer. 

Although current technology allows farmers to spend fewer hours working in the fields, life for many farmers can still be difficult. They need to overcome climatic, environmental, economic, and political factors to secure their livelihood. Abrupt seasonal weather changes, such as floods, early frost, and drought, cause problems for farmers including loss of stock and crops.

Food and agriculture is at the heart of our civilizations. As the population increases, so does the need for food and other agricultural products. Maize is South Africa’s most important crop. It is a dietary staple and source of livestock feed.

South African farmers realize that the food security of millions of people rest on their shoulders. For this reason, they face the everyday dangers and hardships associated with farming. After all, farmers farm for the love of farming.

Jacqueline Lourens
Personal Assistant

Jacqueline has been with Valley Irrigation of Southern Africa since 2011. Jacqui loves being part of the marketing team where she spends most of her time tending to the needs of two sales managers in an extremely challenging and fast-paced environment. In her spare time, Jacqui cranks up the volume and listens to music of all genres. She enjoys reading horror and suspense novels and her favourite author is Stephen King. Jacqui has an immense passion for animals and nature, and enjoys camping and hiking. She believes that life doesn’t provide any guarantees… it only provides possibilities and opportunities for those who dare to make best use of it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lessons From a Farm Kid | by Jenna Olmer

Here at Valley® my job is training. I design courses covering service, sales, parts, and everything irrigation. I have always found so much value in education and teaching others. But sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the adult learning theory, simulations, and exams that come with formal learning, and I forget where some of my most important lessons were learned – right on the farm.

I was reminded of this the other day as I looked over an essay for my 12-year-old brother. Jarrett was assigned to write stories about his life for every letter of the alphabet. As I looked through his stories, I noticed a mix of brother rivalry, family vacations, harvest, planting, spraying, and everything in between, and it reminded me how much farming is less of a "job that my dad does" and more of a family lifestyle.

One story in particular caught my attention. It reminded me of the same lessons I learned early in life and made me proud of the industry I have chosen to contribute to today. After all, it helps put food on the table.

I is for Irrigation
By Jarrett

When you are a farmer in Nebraska there is no telling what the weather is going to be like so you better have an irrigation system just in case of drought. There are many different options to irrigate including flood irrigation, drip irrigation, and spray irrigation. We use the spray irrigation method which involves a center pivot. Pivots are handy during a dry spell but they are high maintenance.

At the beginning of the season we have to grease all the zerks on the pivot, including the knuckles on each tower that have a very inconvenient cover over them. Also we have to replace the oil in the engine and fill the huge tank with gas. Next, we mow the driveways leading to the base tower of the pivots.

A couple days later we get the pivot running with water for the first time. Now we have to drive along the pipe and make sure all the sprinklers are functioning correctly. One time there were a couple sprinkler plugs that busted and water started shooting straight up in the air, we could see the water from half a mile away.

About half way through the summer we go back to re-oil the motors and touch up the mowing with a weed eater. Sometimes irrigating prevents us from going on certain trips because we can’t just make someone else irrigate for us. If we were to just leave our crops in the middle of the drought they would die and if our crops die we are done-for that is our main paycheck, gone, down the drain. I might as well plan on going hungry a couple nights out of the year because we’re going to have to cut spending big time. I hope this shows you how important irrigation is and how stressful the gamble of farming can be.


Jarrett is a eighth-grader and is rarely seen without a basketball or football in hand. He lives on a farm with his parents and older brother, Carson, where he helps out with the hogs, cattle, corn, and soybeans. His four sisters visit often, and he enjoys entertaining his six nieces and nephews.

Jenna Olmer
Senior E-Learning Instructional Designer

Jenna joined Valley in 2012. She has a passion for development through education and holds a master’s in instructional technology. She has spent time working in a variety of industries (farming, retail, food service, meat packing, broadcasting, publishing, and technology services – to name a few) and learning in a variety of countries (Mexico, China, and Spain). Now that she has settled down, she enjoys gardening, refurbishing old furniture, and spending time with her husband and new baby girl.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bringing Drinking Water to Those Who Need It Most | by Michelle Stolte

A Valmont-supported AquaTower in the
Philippines. See more photos here.
If you have been following us for a while, or are friends with us on Facebook, you may recall a promotion we did in 2012 when we first launched our Facebook page. For every “like” we received, we donated a dollar, up to $1,000, to an organization called Planet Water.

We are very lucky to have this amazing non-profit organization, with such a global focus, based in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Plant Water’s sole focus is to bring clean drinking water to school children and residents in under-developed communities around the world. This is done by installing water filtration systems, oftentimes at or near schools, in these communities.

But the group doesn’t stop there. In addition to installing filtration systems, Planet Water also creates educational programs on water-health and hygiene, and trains local representatives, so they can continue to train their communities.

Our donation, as well as additional donations from our parent company, Valmont
® Industries, went toward filtration system installations in the Philippines, India, and China. When possible, Valmont employees from our facilities in these regions helped with the installation and even the engineering of the tower that supports the filtration system. 

Planet Water receives donations from large and small organizations, with some of the larger donors including PepsiCo, JP Morgan, Levi Strauss & Co., and Starbucks. The group brings clean drinking water to communities throughout Asia, Pakistan, and the Dominican Republic. 

The cause is noble and one that hits very close to home for those of us working in irrigation, where water, its conservation, and its availability to future generations is what we strive to improve each day.

To learn more about Planet Water or to make a donation, please visit

Michelle Stolte
Global Marketing Manager

Michelle has been at Valley Irrigation for more than 10 years and is finally no longer a newbie! She has spent her entire time at Valley in the Marketing Department (international and domestic) and loves every minute of it. Michelle enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband. She also likes reading, swing dancing (although she isn't really that good...), and warm weather.

Monday, June 2, 2014

How the Farm Bill Works | by Shannon Peterson

We've shied away from talking about the new Farm Bill. Complex and politically charged, it’s a subject destined to alienate readers. Yet, it will have a powerful impact on growers across the country and ignoring it seems irresponsible. So, I’ve been struggling with how to broach the issue and provide some useful information or insight on the bill.

Then I read a notice in the Daily Agri-News Report by Don Molino, from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Agri-News Radio Network, which led me to the information from the American Farm Bureau Federation that I am sharing here today.

I hope you find some value in these resources. And, if you have discovered other information that breaks down the Farm Bill, please share it in the comment section below!

"The American Farm Bureau Federation has produced a new series of videos and launched a website to help farmers, landowners, and other stakeholders better understand the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. Featured content includes videos on key commodity program and crop insurance provisions of the farm bill.

“We have distilled down a massive and complex piece of legislation – the 2014 farm bill – into several ‘bite-size’ pieces, with the goal of helping farmers and managers understand how it will affect their farms,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist with AFBF.

“Now that safety net and risk management tools important in crop planning are in place, along with the new program for dairies, the next step is for farmers to be able to move forward with confidence in determining the best options for their individual farms,” Anderson said. “We created the farm bill video series with that goal in mind.”

The videos include a farm bill overview describing the basic provisions of the commodity title, including a description of the decisions related to program participation that will need to be made by farmers and landowners. Four other videos go in-depth on the Price Loss Coverage and Supplemental Coverage Option, the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program, the Stacked Income Protection Program for Cotton and the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

Links to useful farm bill information from USDA, land-grant universities, and other organizations also is available on the website."

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 tourism magazines. 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.