Category Archives: North Central News

Valmont and Prospera Technologies Announce Roadmap to Autonomous CropManagement Technology Through Global Partnership

February 20, 2019

Omaha, NE, Tel-Aviv, Israel and San Jose, CA: Valmont® Industries,Inc. (NYSE: VMI), a leading global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure and irrigation equipment for agriculture and the parent company of Valley® Irrigation, and Prospera Technologies Inc., a leading Israeli machine vision and artificial intelligence (AI) company specializing in ag data, are pleased to announce their global partnership. The collaboration sets the course to provide growers with autonomous crop management solutions generating greater returns, while requiring fewer production inputs and resources.

 

“Valley Irrigation is transforming the center pivot from solely an irrigation machine to an autonomous crop management tool,” ValmontPresident and Chief Executive Officer Stephen G. Kaniewski commented. “Water remains our focus, as it is the number one determinant of crop yield. Growers who use pivots have a natural advantage to use them as often as needed, given their constant placement on the field. We can equip the structure to see what a grower may not be able to detect, arming them with critical information that delivers more crop precision, saving time, lowering costs and increasing yield.”

 

This exclusive global partnership is significant because it integrates artificial intelligence technologies with center pivot irrigation.Valley Irrigation leads the industry with more than 60,000 connected devices globally and carries distribution strength through the industry’s largest network of more than 500 dealers worldwide. The intelligence shared between these connected devices and the pivot, along with the integration of data science, machine-learning and AI, enables the two companies to develop real-time crop diagnoses and irrigation recommendations, resulting in greater returns for the grower.

 

Prospera, founded in2014, is a leading force in ag tech, committed to bringing advanced machine learning (ML) technology to the agriculture sector. Backed by strategic investors including Cisco, Qualcomm and Bessemer, Prospera has developed proven analytics, algorithms and data layering to provide growers with irrigation and crop growth recommendations. Prospera currently monitors over $5 billion of greenhouse production. The partnership between the two companies will build on Prospera’s unique technology, expanding application to large-scale fields.

 

Autonomous crop management will result in a self-learning machine, using inputs from the field and the grower to deliver proper water, fertigation and chemigation. Launching in the spring of 2019, Anomaly Detection is a fundamental building block for growers entering into AI functionality. Providing visual detection of anomalies or issues, this technology provides essential features to mitigate risks in the field, assisting the grower with their irrigation and crop management practices.It will be available from Valley for all brands of pivots through a subscription-based model.

 

Kaniewski said launching specific technology products to the market and product adoption are two critical steps on the journey toward autonomous crop management. The joint machine-learning technology is targeted to reach one million acres by 2020. To develop the technology, the two companies collectively plan to invest more than$40 million over the next three years.  

“Like Valley, Prospera is committed to giving growers moredata-based, actionable insights from the machines that span every inch of theirfields, while reducing potential risks that can harm crop production,” saidProspera Chief Executive Officer Daniel Koppel. “We areexcited to partner with Valley Irrigation, the industry leader trusted by growers,and their global network of dealers, working together to feed an expandingpopulation.”

Agricultural professionals can find out more about theValmont/Prospera partnership and resulting technology at World AgriTech in SanFrancisco, March 19-20, 2019.

About Valley Irrigation

Valley Irrigation founded the center pivot irrigation industry in 1954, and our brand is the worldwide leader in sales, service, quality and innovation. With historical sales of more than 250,000 center pivots and linears, Valmont-built equipment annually irrigates approximately 25 million acres (10 million hectares) around the world. We remain dedicated to providing innovative, precision irrigation solutions now and into the future. For more information, please visit www.valley-prospera.com

 

About Prospera

Prospera Technologies, Inc. isa developer of machine vision technologies that continuously monitor and analyze plant development, health and stress. Prospera captures multiple layers of climate and visual data from the crop field and provides actionable, easy-to-read insights to growers via mobile and web dashboards. Its team of world-class computer scientists, physicists and agronomists work with experienced agri-business leaders to meet growers where they are and revolutionize the way food is grown. For more information, please visit www.valley-prospera.com

 

About Valmont Industries Inc.

Valmont is a global leader, designing and manufacturing highly engineered products that support global infrastructure development and agricultural productivity. Its irrigation equipment and services for large-scale agriculture improves farm productivity while conserving fresh water resources. Its products for infrastructure serve highway, transportation, wireless communication, electric transmission, and industrial construction and energy markets. In addition, Valmont provides coatings services that protect against corrosion and improve the service lives of steel and other metal products. For more information, please visit www.valmont.com


NEW VFD Panels

Master electricians have been busy adding pivot circuits to a brand new ABB Irrigation VFD panel before its installed.  Notice no rats nest of wiring.

Everything is labeled and easily accessible.  ABB irrigation VFD panels have a very efficient and unique cooling system.  The panel enclosure is split in half, with the “hot” side of the drive being isolated from the electronics.

This allows heat out of the enclosure faster and keeps the inside of the electronics compartment much cleaner. 


Upgrade your sprinkler package to maximize yields.

Upgrade your sprinkler package to maximize yields.  A lot of guys overlook the most important part of an irrigator, the sprinklers!  Any one can squirt water, but can you uniformly apply it, increase yields, and decrease pumping costs?  The single biggest improvement you can do to your machine is upgrade the sprinklers.  If your current package is more than 10 years old or what was on the machine when it moved, now might be a great time to upgrade.  Your well will be flow checked and then a package custom designed for your field will be created.  Changes in elevation, crop, pressure, soil type and type of machine will all factor into the final package.

Click the brochure below for more information.


Nelson R55i end of machine sprinkler

Looking to water additional acres that you already own?  Add a Nelson R55i (i=Inverted) to the end of your machine.  When your end gun shuts off the R55i will continue water the crops beyond your machine (35-45′ depending on pressure).  Eliminate dry wedges and increase yields.  Enjoy a very quick and easy return on a couple hundred dollar investment.  The inverted model simply threads into your 2″ plug on the end of your machine.  It can also be controlled with an valve if running up near a road or obstacle.  Operates on 15-40 PSI only.


Valley Precision Corner Time Lapse Video

A Valley precision corner watering from the summer of 2016.  This clearly shows how smooth the corner VFD drives allow the machine to water.  If you look close you can see the inner towers starting and stopping while the last tower and corner move constantly.  This machine has the patented Valley water utilization package installed.  This adds 22 more sprinklers for maximum water uniformity as the corner extends and retracts.


Senninger Wobbler Low Pressure Sprinkler

Senninger 10PSI Up3 Xcel Wobbler sprinkler is now available.  This sprinkler has the ability to create a huge 45-50′ wetted diameter on only 10PSI of pipeline pressure.  If you have windy conditions, the larger droplet size produced by this sprinkler will be less affected.  When your machine needs to be super low pressure, this is definitely a sprinkler you want to consider.  They also work great for a gardens or deer food plots.

senninger 10psi2


AGSENSE- Remote Managed Irrigation Control

North Central Irrigation is an authorized AGSENSE dealer and can help your control your pivots remotely regardless of brand or panel.  Bring older machines into the 21st century with an easily to install and operate FIELD COMMANDER.  Reduce your trips to the field, receive alerts and alarms on your smart device, and know what is happening with your equipment. Using a free app, your smart device, and a FIELD COMMANDER your operation will run smoother and be more profitable.  AGSENSE has more remote managed irrigation center pivots than all other brands combined!

For more information or a free quote call us today.  (715)-335-6368


Water Hook-up Season

Been busy hooking up machines to the underground pipelines.  We are using the Nelson air reliefs to completely fill the pivot with water and prevent air squirting out of the sprinklers instead of water.  These also help to keep the underground pipe full, maximizing your pump’s power usage, and optimizing your sprinkler package.  They act continuously, not just on start up like the aluminum ones.


Recent Welding Projects

Category : North Central News

Some recent welding projects.  As the weather has heated up, so are the welding jobs.  We can copy a rusted out part, like the Lockwood clean-out stub,  or start from scratch and build a heavy wall aluminum discharge or connection pipe.  Whatever you can dream up we have the capability to build it.  These were welded with a Miller 252 and Spool-matic 30A gun.  The auto valve connection pipe below has a lot of parts operating on it. 3″ pressure relief valve, 2″ air relief, 0-100 PSI pressure gauge, 2X Injection ports, 2″ sprayer fill port, water faucet, and 1″ bottom pipe drain.


NEW! Valley Corner DualDrive™

Category : North Central News

NEW! Valley Corner DualDrive™

Muddy, mucky fields got your corner stuck? Add the Valley DualDrive to your next new Precision or V-Flex corner.  Can also be retrofitted to existing corners.  Featuring 11.2-38 tires straight bar tires for maximum traction/floatation and a narrow profile for minimal crop damage.  Unlike competitive systems, the DualDrive features 1 drive motor, 1 drive shaft, and 1 gearbox, not 2 of everything.  Also eliminates voltage problems from adding 2 extra motors. The dual axle gearbox carries the same 8 year, 8000 hour warranty as Valley wheel gearboxes. 

 


Spring is coming!

Category : North Central News

2-1/2 miles of 8″ PIP 100# pipe delivered early this morning, more on the way.  Eliminate your leaky, unreliable aluminum surface pipe, and bury new PVC. We can drop ship full loads right to your farm.

Give us a call to discuss your project today. (715)-335-6368

 


Upgrade to Valley Pump Connects

Kick your old pump control radios to the curb, and upgrade to Valley Pump Connects.  With a 3 mile range, these radios can be used for more than just pivots.  Custom manure haulers love them for remote pump ON-OFF capabilities as well as people operating electric grain augers.  You can use Pump Controls to turn anything on and off remotely as long as there is 120volt or 12VDC present.

Click the picture below to learn more, and get started.


Building a Precision Corner

Category : North Central News

Photos of the precision corner that came in last week as it was built.  Build guys were working in a half-frozen lake with the warm temps.


New Retro Precision Corner

Category : North Central News

A customer is getting a new Retro Precision Corner to replace an existing Valley track and roller corner.


New 3 Tower, Drop span machine loaded up and getting built.

Category : North Central News

A new 3 Tower machine loaded up and ready to be built.  This machine has the optional Valley Drop Span.  Because of an odd shaped field, this allows the machine to pick-up additional acres without having to use a traveling gun or adding another pivot to the same field.  Drop spans cuts costs, saves extra hassle with traveling guns, and still increases irrigated acres/your bottom line.


Website Changes 2/16/2016

Category : North Central News

Coming Soon-Look for regular updates, expanded for sale page, and a lot of general improvements.


Top 10 Ways to Get Your Pivots Ready for Spring

Category : North Central News

Top 10 Ways to Get Your Pivots Ready for Spring

You may not need your center pivots during planting season, but they need a little attention before you fire them up. Here are some tips to get your equipment ready for irrigation season.

Drive Train
To maximize the life of your drive train and keep it operating trouble-free, periodically drain any water that accumulates in the gearbox and center drive, and make sure the gear lubricant is at the proper level.

Wheel Ruts
Be sure to fill deep wheel tracks during the off-season to reduce stress on irrigation, tillage, and harvest equipment. To help prevent future tracking, consider changing to a higher floatation tire, adding a floatation drive unit option, or modifying the sprinkler package to reduce water application to the wheel tracks.

Motor Contactors
Damaged motor contactors can reduce the life of the drive unit motor, so be sure to inspect and replace worn contactors.

Moving Parts
Steel moving on steel without proper lubrication can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on irrigation equipment. Be sure to grease all moving parts, including the pivot point bearing, towable hubs, and corner rollers.

Sprinkler Package
Water application is at the heart of what you do, in order to do this as best possible; sprinkler packages need to be properly designed and maintained to a high degree of accuracy. Generally, sprinkler packages should be replaced at least every 10,000 hours of operation. Regularly check for broken or worn sprinkler components and replace them as necessary. Also, consider running a new sprinkler design that could maximize uniformity and application efficiency, and help alleviate application issues such as runoff, ponding and soil sealing.

Energy Efficiency
When done properly, you can minimize water pumping costs by reducing the machine’s operating pressure to a point that still produces enough pressure to operate the sprinkler package satisfactorily. Monitor pivot pressure regularly and ensure it remains adequate (as designed) throughout the season.

Tire Pressure
Maintaining the correct tire pressure is vital to the operation of irrigation equipment; the correct tire pressure ensures that floatation for a particular tire is maximized and the rolling circumference is consistent to what Valley uses on timer chart calculations. Be sure to periodically check tire pressure and adjust it to specification. Also, don’t forget to tighten wheel lug nuts and evaluate the overall tire condition. All tires lose pressure over time and lose or gain about 1 PSI per 10 degrees F of temperature change.

Pivot Alignment & Pipe Flushing
Ensure the tower box micro-switches are set properly. Improper settings can cause pivot misalignment, which results in nuisance shutdowns. Flushing your pipe line and cleaning your sand trap is essential if you have water quality problems or your irrigation water contains sand.

U-joints
Evaluate your equipment for worn u-joint inserts and ensure driveshaft shields are in place for safety.

Electrical Connections
Be sure to power down the equipment before checking any electrical connections. Once the power is off, check for loose connections or loose cord grips in tower boxes.