Farmers are being forced to wring every dollar out of their operations they can these days, including saving money they would otherwise spend on over-watering their corn, cotton and soybean crops.
That’s where a new software entity, Smart Farm Systems, Inc., hopes to make inroads in an increasingly crowded precision agriculture market. Smart Farm Systems announced the launch of their precision irrigation monitoring and control system on Tuesday (Sept.19).
The system is being deployed after five years of development and on-farm testing, according to Bob Farinelli, president and CTO of Smart Farm Systems. “Today’s farmers face many variables outside of their control and they need a system that can deliver just the right amount of water, at just the right time, on a field-by- field basis.
“And that is exactly what this system is designed to do.”
Smart Farm is a combination of intuitive software and a reliable RF wireless network that integrates sensors and control modules to allow farmers to remotely monitor field conditions and control all their well pumps. Smart Farm provides farmers with real-time, actionable information including status of local weather, equipment, soil moisture and rice field water levels for immediate improvements in efficiency.
Monitor subsoil moisture
“The Smart Farm system allowed me to keep an eye on my subsoil moisture at all times,” said Cameron Boyd, a farm manager for White-Flye Farms in Northeast Arkansas. “Based on this new system information plus the forecast prediction, there were times I was able to hold off watering and wait for the upcoming rain confidently.
“I eliminated at least one entire watering schedule this past growing season, and on some farms, eliminated two. We tracked subsurface moisture levels in real time and were able to wait a few extra days between each set.”
For launch, the line includes everything a farmer needs to gather greater farm intelligence and be in control of the in-field operations. The products incorporate a base station for central processing and a secure mobile app which allows operators and farmhands to monitor and control the system on the go.
“This new offering includes diesel and electric well pump controls, soil, flow and water-level moisture monitoring sensors and weather stations that can be installed at any location on the farm,” said Farinelli. “The system can scale up from just a few control stations to hundreds to accommodate every farmer’s needs”.
“Now is the time for farmers to take advantage of our Early Bird Launch Special which runs for a limited time through the end of the year – or until our first production products are sold out,” said Brandon Finch, Smart Farm’s vice president of sales and marketing. (See accompanying video.)
5- to 8-percent yield increases
Finch was interviewed about the development of the system in Delta Farm Press earlier this year. See http://bit.ly/2ypMZWR.
He said case studies have shown that precision irrigation can improve yields by 5 percent to 8 percent and reduce input costs by a similar percentage. Smart Farm solutions can be retrofitted on existing sites and provide immediate impact with a very short return on investment time period.
Farinelli and Finch, the co-founders of Smart Farm Systems, Inc., have extensive experience in both control/automation and agriculture. Farinelli holds 22 patents in the field of automation, signal distribution and control systems. Bob was co-founder and president of Elan Home Systems, a leading global manufacturer of residential and commercial automation products.
Brandon comes from a large row crop family farm in Northeast Arkansas and served as the farm business manager for 13 years after graduating from the University of Arkansas. He also created a USDA consulting business that has been operating for 17 years and has five years of experience working for DuPont Pioneer as a territory manager. Brandon serves on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Ag Council and is a member of the Arkansas Water Plan Advisory Group