Just as GPS-guided auto steer has helped plant super straight rows, producers can now irrigate in the same straight lines to minimize variances in water application to help maximize yields.
Valley Irrigation now offers GPS Guidance for linear irrigation equipment. Here’s what two farmers said about their trials with this new precision agriculture technology.
Leonard Water Services, the local Valley dealer serving the Abilene, Texas area, had firsthand experience with Valley GPS Guidance on linear irrigation equipment last summer, as part of Valley Irrigation field trials. Jim Leonard, partner, Leonard Water Services, liked what he saw during the trial and agreed with LaRue that GPS Guidance reduces overwatering.
“When you reverse linears at the end of the field, there’s a tendency for non-GPS guidance options to overcompensate the steering of the linear machine during the repositioning, and that can lead to overwatering some parts of the field,” Leonard said. “But GPS Guidance from Valley held the linear to a much more accurate position. We didn’t see any overwatering. Everything about the operation was positive. We haven’t seen a drawback yet and will likely install GPS Guidance on more linear irrigation equipment that our dealership sells in the future.”
Valley GPS Guidance works with virtually all linear irrigation equipment and is compatible with John Deere™ Starfire™ RTK.
That compatibility was important to Steve Coester, farm manager of Ak-Chin Farm in Maricopa, Ariz., who also participated in the GPS Guidance field trials. In addition to eliminating the need for above-ground cable, he liked how Valley GPS Guidance worked with the farm’s current setup. “We use GPS in all our equipment,” said Coester. “So it was easy to integrate GPS Guidance with our operation, and the programming was simple.”
GPS Guidance for linear irrigation equipment is the latest GPS product innovation from Valley Irrigation. In 2008, Valley introduced GPS Ready control panels for center pivot and linear irrigation equipment that provide growers with another choice to determine field position by utilizing the accuracy of GPS technology. LaRue said Valley is currently field testing GPS Guidance for use with corner pivot irrigation. Pending trial results, the company anticipates GPS Guidance for corner pivots will be available in 2010.