Thursday, August 28, 2014

Valmont Irrigation Western Europe and West Africa is Beginning its European and African Tour | by Pauline Merz

That’s it, it’s done: the Valmont® Irrigation Western Europe and West Africa (WE&WA) team has scheduled its tour for the pleasure of the irrigation farmers. We are touring in support of our new products VFlex™ Corner, advanced control technologies, and the world’s longest 72 m span, as well as what has made our reputation - the  Model 8120 center pivot and the Universal Linear.

We will present in different places of the world: France (INNOVAGRI 2014- Sept 2-4 in Outarville and AQUANIDE 2014: Sept 22-24 in Saint-Pierre d’Amilly), Italy (EIMA 2014- Nov 12-16 in Bologna) and Nigeria (AGRA INNOVATE 2014: Nov 18-20 in Lagos).

These events will be a new opportunity for the Valley® brand to meet their Valley equipment users, which is always a great moment spent together to exchange experiences and discuss projects and future strategies for good and durable agricultural practices.

Not yet fond of Valley? Don’t worry! You still have time to come see it for yourself and let yourself be convinced that Valley irrigation equipment and technology are the best that you can find in the industry of mechanized irrigation.

For the organization of this tour, as always, Valmont Irrigation WE&WA team will be supported by their most faithful fans who are their professional regional dealers, without whom no tour is possible: France (Groupe Lecoq, Ets Cornet, Chesneau AgriTech; Ballanger, Billaud-Segeba, Electro’Tech Service), Italy (Agriosso, Agrostar, Consorcio) and Nigeria (SCOA).

If you need further information about the Valmont Irrigation WE&WA Tour, take a look at the following websites.
After that, you will understand why Valley is the worldwide leader in the mechanized irrigation industry. So don’t waste your time: save the dates and come to see us!

Pauline Merz
Marketing Responsible - Western Europe & West Africa

Pauline joined Valmont Irrigation in 2012. After being in charge of the French market (Spare Parts and Marketing activities), she became Marketing Responsible for Western Europe & West Africa. Native of France, Pauline has been living in Spain for 3 years. She enjoys meeting new people and discovers other cultures through their way of life. Pauline is also fond of sports such as mountain biking, trekking and tennis.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Valley University Nominated for National Global Learning Award | by Kelly Schultze

Valley University is Valley® Irrigation’s go-to resource for dealership training and development. Our goal is to gather and share knowledge of Valley products and practices to help dealerships around the world increase their expertise in sales, service, and aftermarket parts. 

Valley University has grown from serving domestic dealerships to serving dealerships in 34 countries, with training courses available in five different languages.

In the last six months, we have increased our international course availability and user growth exponentially. It is thanks to these efforts that the Valley University team has become a finalist in the Chief Learning Officer® 2014 Learning in Practice awards in the Global Learning category.

Our team is dedicated to providing all of our dealerships with the most up-to-date information to assist them in their daily operation. From pivot construction to seasonal maintenance, from the United States to South Africa, it is our goal to educate and assist Valley dealerships around the world, so we continuously grow and improve together.

Other finalists in the 2014 Learning in Practice award for Global Learning include Hewlett-Packard, MetLife, Western Union, Marriott International, and the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. 

The awards will be announced during the Chief Learning Officer Symposium, Oct. 6-8. Wish us luck!

Kelly Schultze
E-Learning Instructional Designer

Kelly joined Valley Irrigation in early 2014 as an E-Learning Instructional Designer. When she isn’t at work, she is typically creating replica costumes and props from films, comics, and television shows. Kelly also enjoys learning languages and is conversational in French and Korean. She loves to travel, and has lived abroad while studying in South Africa and South Korea.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Believing in the Future of Ag | by Kelly Cox

Earlier this month, we hosted the State Officers of the Nebraska FFA. The group came to Valley to learn about the company and the center pivot industry, as well as to get advice on career planning from some of our employees who are past FFA members. The State Officers also provided us with great updates on Nebraska FFA and ag education.

This group of aspiring agribusiness leaders reflected on their time with us in a recent blog post, which can be read here:

Valley Irrigation is a proud sponsor of the FFA "I Believe in the Future of Ag" campaign. 

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, August 18, 2014

Why It's Better to Grow Tomatoes With a Valley Center Pivot Than With Drip | by Antoine Quily

We asked a production farmer in Senegal why it’s better to grow tomatoes with a Valley® center pivot than with drip? This is the story he told us:

“From 1972 to 1995 we had 11 pivots, the equivalent of 600 hectares (ha). The pivots had reached the end of their potential and, we decided not to continue making our own cultures and not to renew the pivots.

In 1995 drip irrigation was fashioned, so we just kept a 70 ha farm with drippers and we gave up the pivots. I arrived in 2007 as production farmer, so I reclaimed land, which was primarily drip. In 2009, we bought a Valley pivot and so we went back to the pivot technology!

A Valley center pivots on tomatoes in Senegal.
I made this choice because with a Valley center pivot you can keep the temperature around the vegetation cooler. Here, the growing season is during the dry period of the year, so we really want to control the climate, especially if there is a major hot streak that can often happen. 

Other pivot benefits are operating costs that are well below drip irrigation, simplicity, and reliability.

In the tomato industry, I have noticed that with straight fertilizers, insoluble fertilizer, and soluble supplements, the culture goes very well. With pivots, the inputs are much cheaper than with soluble fertilizers we use with the dripper.

Working pressure between the pivot and the drip system is fairly equivalent, sometimes the pivot requires even lower pressure than drip. Our 60 ha Valley pivot works at 2.6 bars in the center. For drip, I work with 14 ha areas, and I need 1 bar in each one. So with drip I need at least 4.5 at the pump. Therefore, I have less gas/oil/m3 consumption on the pivot.

Drip irrigation maintenance also is much more expensive: I reinvest in valves each year because they break. I have to pay irrigators because the valves need to be opened and closed, and I have to change the material because the drip lines must be changed every year.

The Valley center pivot also a one very big advantage: here we don’t control the rain, but we are able to still work the soils with moisture provided by the pivot. Pivots can do it: you water what you want and then work the soils as needed, which includes controlling weeds. A Valley center pivot can do everything you need!”

Antoine Quily
Sales Territory Manager for West Africa and Northern Europe

Antoine joined Valley Irrigation in 2010. After supervising linear constructions in Eastern Europe during his first year with Valmont®
, he became Territory Manager for West Africa and Northern Europe. A native of France, Antoine has been traveling all his life, and has lived in Central African Republic, Reunion Island, and now Spain. He likes sports, music and spending time with his friends. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Goodbye Blogs Are the Hardest to Write | by Brooke Stover

After a little more than three years, I’ve made the very difficult decision to leave Valley® Irrigation for another job in Omaha. I am looking forward to the challenge, but looking back at all the great times I’ve had with this outstanding company; helping set up at Husker Harvest days, visiting the South for the first time for Sunbelt, and attending dealer meetings, which allowed me to meet those who are our boots on the ground.

I am a confident, capable young professional in great part because of the opportunities I was given and the experiences I had while here. Valley Irrigation has a strong management team that led this company to success and will continue to do so in the future.

Even though I am a short-timer, I have some things I want to say to the person who comes after me:

1. You must be kind to the people I have grown to care about and worked alongside the past three years: You are very lucky to be completely surrounded by awesome people both inside and outside building 516 in Valley. Know that the marketing team is “where it’s at!” I am biased – there are other great departments too…

2. You can’t take yourself too seriously (at least not all the time): You will wear some pretty rad safety glasses, a bright blue vest, and tennis shoes with a dress (I guess the dress is up in the air – some people don’t wear them) at some point in this position… Enjoy it – seeing the manufacturing environment and meeting the hard-working individuals behind the products gives a greater meaning to what you do.

3. Please scare Brian “Rocky” Roschewski for me. (I unfortunately did not leave work instructions for this one, but it’s incredibly easy.) Just be careful… he has a tendency to get you back.

4. I’m sorry that you will never get to be cube-buddies with Ben…that guy!

5. The trick to navigating your first trade show is to keep one of the product managers in sight at all times – they always know the answers to everything.

6. Here is a tip: If you’re having a rough day, take a laugh break. (Amazon reviews can be quite entertaining – I highly recommend the sugar-free gummy bears review and the 85-inch TV review). If you find something really good, then send it to the team – everyone can use a laugh now and then.

In all seriousness, it is incredibly bittersweet to leave Valley. There are many people to thank for the knowledge I gained. Matt, Michelle, Jill, Shannon, Kelly, and Cindy are a part of the greatest team I have ever worked on.

It is very difficult to say goodbye to the people who have been a part of my story. Those that occupied the cubes around me the past three years played a major role in some of my favorite memories… after all, laughing at Amazon reviews is more fun when you laugh with those around you.

I wish only the best for everyone at Valley and continued success for the company that I will always be a cheerleader for!

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!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Valley Values – Advanced | by Matt Ondrejko

Advanced Technology is all the rage these days and is a key buzzword in every company’s marketing arsenal. To be honest, we often use it here at Valley® as well. In fact, Advanced is one of our five Valley Values – along with Reliable, Durable, Precise and Responsive. But, I think it is important to take a step back and really discuss what Advanced Technology means to growers.

At Valley, we approach technology as a means to make the user or the product more efficient, durable, or productive, not just in terms of megabytes and apps, but on the steel and rubber as well.

Advanced Technology is something every engineer and product manager incorporates into the new designs and ideas we test and develop. We look for the latest and greatest ways to make and coat steel, reduce flat tires, and remotely communicate with the pivot. This technology is meant to bring a better quality of life to our customers by reducing downtime and maximizing up time, so more personal time can be spent doing the things they really want to do.

Often technology is pushed on the consumer as a must have or a way to make things easier, with the company offering it not really understanding how the product will be used.

At Valley, we work hand in hand with our growers and dealers testing and evaluating what they like and what really makes them more efficient. We deliver technology, but on their terms, aimed at their needs and desires.

Technology is constantly changing and evolving. At Valley, we are leading the way, advancing the pivot and the way the world irrigates.

Matt Ondrejko

VP Global Marketing

The one word that can sum up Matt is "enthusiasm!" He likes to be on-the-go and have fun along the way. Matt loves music and the 1980s era. He is a child of the MTV generation and has a deep appreciation of all music genres (specifically, he is a huge Dave Matthews Band groupie). Matt has traveled to more than 70 countries around the world and enjoys learning about different cultures and people. He spent three years living with his family in Leuven, Belgium, trying to enjoy as many of the 700+ beers they brew there.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Come Play Under the Pivot in Omaha | by Jill Zwiener

Have you ever wanted to give your kids or grandkids the opportunity to stand right next to a life-size Valley® center pivot? Now is your chance!

On Saturday, Aug. 16, Valmont® is hosting the Picnic Under the Pivot at the Omaha Children’s Museum. A 45-foot Valley display center pivot will be installed on the grassy area right outside the museum.

Families are invited to stop by to enjoy food and drinks (while supplies last). We’ll be playing with large blocks, hula hoops, parachutes, and making big bubbles. There will be some giveaways, too.  The event is free to the public and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Picnic Under the Pivot is the kickoff event for us and the museum as we prepare for the October opening of the Once Upon a Farm exhibit. Valmont is one of the sponsors of the exhibit, which opens Oct. 18 and will run through April 20, 2015.

The Once Upon a Farm exhibit will teach kids and their families all about the role of agriculture in their daily lives. Throughout the exhibit, guests will encounter interactive displays that incorporate irrigation (a scaled down 25-foot Valley center pivot will be on display), machinery, livestock, crops, and other natural resources needed to create the food and everyday products we find at the store and use in our homes. The exhibit will be a fun way for families to learn about the impact of agriculture in Nebraska and around the world.

If you can make it to the Picnic Under the Pivot on Aug. 16, be sure you plan to spend a little time inside the museum too. It’s filled with hands-on exhibits and activities for children of all ages. And you won’t want to miss the special exhibit that’s only going to be up for a few more weeks, Dinos: The Big Dig! 

And don’t forget to come back after Oct. 18 to see the full Once Upon a Farm exhibit.

Mark your calendars today. I hope to see you there!

Omaha Children’s Museum
500 South 20th Street
Omaha, NE 68102

Jill Zwiener
Brand Manager

Jill joined the Valley Irrigation team in 2011. She loves country music, fountain soda, food, college football, and the ski slopes of Colorado. She enjoys using photography to freeze the precious bits of time with her family into pictures that she can cherish for years.

Monday, August 4, 2014

New options for the Valley VFlex Corner | by John Kastl

This spring, we introduced a number of new options for the Valley® VFlex™ Corner – including electronic sequencing, a 305-foot corner arm, and an inverted corner – for even more flexibility in designing a machine that meets the specific needs of your field. Let’s take a look at each of these new options to see how they make the VFlex even better. 

VFlex electronic sequencing is a computer-controlled module with an advanced, yet easy-to-use display that makes it simple to monitor, control, and even customize the sprinkler sequencing of your corner. This option uses the same area-based sequencing logic as the industry-leading Valley Precision Corner®, which provides excellent water uniformity. And, if you apply crop production chemicals through your machine, the built-in, user-selectable Chemigate mode automatically varies your machine’s speed for uniform chemical application with a simple, fixed-rate injection pump.

Electronic sequencing also comes with two powerful features for customizing water application under the corner. The first is an angle-based override. This feature allows you to specify which banks of sprinklers are on or off based on the angle of the corner relative to the pivot. This is handy if you have an area in all four corners of the field where you’d like to keep a few extra sprinklers running. The second feature is a built-in positon override table. This feature allows you to specify which banks of sprinklers are on or off by the position of the machine in the field. This can be helpful if there is a small area in the field that needs a little extra water or if you have an unusual field boundary and need more water there. Bear in mind that GPS Guidance is required in order to use position-based overrides.

The computing power behind electronic sequencing also allows us to control more sprinkler banks and in turn allows us to offer an even longer corner: the 205/100 VFlex, with the industry-leading water uniformity you’ve come to expect from Valley. This new 305-foot option is a great choice for rectangular fields where the corner arm is fully extended for a significant period of time.

Combining electronic sequencing with the swiveling inlet makes it possible to run an inverted corner, which means your corner moves through the field ahead of the base pivot when the machine is running forward (clockwise). Inverted orientation can be helpful in maximizing irrigated acres on part-circle pivots.

Here at Valley, we’re always working to help you increase your irrigated acres with options that meet your specific needs. Stay tuned for the next improvements to our corners!

John Kastl
Product Manager - Equipment

John joined the Valley Irrigation Engineering Department in 2000 after having spent 11 years at General Electric Aircraft Engines. Today, he manages the equipment products for Valley (center pivots, corners, and gearbox, to name a few), helping develop the next generation of Valley Irrigation machines. John enjoys photography, home renovation, and travel. On his third birthday, John watched the first moon landing!