Agriculture is not always an easy way to make a living. Growers are at the mercy of weather conditions and must make multiple decisions each day that will impact the crops they grow on their farms.
Natural resources that crops depend on have become limited in some areas, so growers need to improve their use efficiency in order to achieve higher profitability.
The amount of land dedicated to farming has shrunk, but our populations continue to grow. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), there were 897 million acres designated as farmland in 2019, down 46 million from 2000. With fewer acres dedicated to farming each year, growers need to maximize performance in order to keep up with demands.
And according to the United Nations World Water Program, only 20 percent of global farm acres are irrigated, but they account for 40 percent of global food production. Between weather conditions and water usage limitations, smart irrigation practices have a positive impact on yields.
Speaking of smart, Reinke Manufacturing announced a partnership with CropX in 2020, bringing together two global leaders in agriculture. The duo has brought irrigation systems and technology together with agricultural analytics and soil sensing, empowering growers to improve their operational sustainability with:
- integrated and reliable precision irrigation application products,
- advanced water scheduling and monitoring technologies and
- dedicated dealer network and support teams.
“Our dedication to helping growers produce more with less is part of the reason we partnered with CropX,” says Chris Roth, president of Reinke. “With the soil monitoring and analytics from CropX, Reinke irrigation systems now give growers additional labor savings and precision application efficiencies to help them achieve better yields and profitability today and provides us all with a more sustainable future.”
Precision water application enhanced with CropX data
Working with growers to apply the right amount of water at the right time in the right location is the key to growing stronger crops. Growers with pivots using Reinke’s enhanced, web-based application ReinCloud® are now seeing additional benefits by being able to operate their irrigation remotely. At the same time, they manage CropX data through the integrated platform.
The additional information mined by CropX’s advanced technology puts accurate intelligence in growers’ hands with maps and aerial imagery, weather and modeling, user input and patented soil sensing technology.
Northwest grower sees water savings and healthier crops
Mark Gross farms more than 10,000 acres outside of Spokane, Wash. He’s had Reinke irrigation systems and technology on his crops for years. They grow seed potatoes, wheat, barley, hay, silage and more. He’s used ReinCloud with ESAC and SAC VRI to accurately irrigate high-cash crops.
In the last two years, he’s added CropX soil sensors and seen great value in the data he gets from his investment.
“We've gone down to almost a quarter of the water in certain zones and we’re raising a better crop,” he said. “Every field that's getting irrigated should have a soil sensor.”
Besides the water and energy savings, he’s also been impressed with the final product.
“We’ve got a better crop – a better crop with less water,” he said. “Healthier crops that store better in storage grown with less water. That’s not even something to debate about, those are our results.”
As someone who grows crops in an area with water restriction, he knows how vitally important it is to use his resources wisely. But even if a grower irrigates without restricts, Gross feels they should be using the technologies to know when the soil needs moisture and then apply the precise amount it needs.
“In all reality, every field that’s getting irrigated should have soil sensors, otherwise you’ll overdo it or underdo it and then that’s not beneficial to the farmer,” he added.
Tailoring technology to fit your needs
Every operation is unique. From the crops you grow to the land you grow them on. Growers need the right equipment and technology in fit their fields. The product development team at Reinke, led by Cody Bailey, keeps all those different geographic locations, soil types and varying crops in mind when they’re engineering irrigation systems.
“We look for opportunities to improve water application on crops, but not just for the sake of creating a new product. It has to increase efficiencies significantly,” said Bailey. “Some of our team members are farmers and that helps us understand how our pivots and scheduling technology will have a positive impact in the field. We know how important it is that our pivots and scheduling technology be reliable to growers. Reinke wants to help growers make watering their crops easier and more efficient, so they save time and money.”
For more information on how Reinke and CropX are increasing efficiencies for growers, saving natural resources and improving overall sustainability, go to Reinke.com/CropX.