What is in this article?:
- Alabama's Dee River Ranch: state of the art irrigation technology
- Showcase of irrigation technologies
- Precision variable rate irrigation
- Savings in energy, labor, and time
The Dee River Ranch installation is “a showcase for the most sophisticated irrigation technologies available today,” says Randy Wood, vice president of sales and marketing for Zimmatic. “It’s a completely integrated irrigation system that will meet their current and projected future needs.
ANNIE DEE, second from left; her husband, Ed Sikora, left; Randy Wood, third from left, vice president of sales and marketing for Zimmatic by Lindsay; and Perry Oakes, Natural Resources Conservation Service, were among those welcoming visitors to Dee River Ranch for a look at their state of the art irrigation system. Annie and her brother, Mike Dee, run the 10,000-acre operation.
Precision variable rate irrigation
The system will provide precision variable rate irrigation for all pivots, Atkinson says. Each sprinkler can be programmed to turn on/off or pulse at a specific rate, depending on crop, terrain, or obstacles.
“You can select the pivots you want to operate and the system will determine all the variables to provide just enough water, with just the right amount of pressure, to get the job done. It has built-in redundancy and built-in diagnostics to provide alerts to potential problems.
“It constantly monitors and keeps a record of system performance and power consumption. The variable frequency drives reduce energy consumption and cost by automatically adjusting to the system’s pressure and flow requirements, always operating at the optimum level, providing surge-free pressure regulation that can cut energy costs by as much as 25 percent.”
Brad Kincaid, vice president and general manager of ezWireless, also a Lindsay company, said Dee River uses “a cutting edge wireless system that links all farm systems: pumping station, pivots, vehicles, office — even 4-wheelers and Gators. Everything at Dee River is connected via an 80-foot tall base station tower that sits atop a high hill, offering 20 square miles of coverage, with broadband speeds up to 300 mbps (which is 10 to 100 times faster than the average home Internet connection).
Palm-size mobile wireless units that plug into a vehicle cigarette lighter create moving wi-fi hot spots for pickups, ATVs, tractors, combines, or other vehicles.
The system also supports e-mail, Web access, servers, and wireless printing for any device on the network, or via smart phone or laptop anywhere in the world with Internet access.
“We’ve created a full service remote wireless network and broadband Internet system in an area with limited or no cell phone coverage,” Kincaid said. “It offers extremely fast, reliable communications using hardware that is proven in harsh outdoor environments.
“It’s infinitely expandable, and can include video surveillance cameras and recording devices, soil moisture probes, weather stations, and other digital devices.”
Andy Murdock, Lindsay Irrigation regional manager, said the company’s center pivots on Dee River include the 9500 series, “our heaviest duty machines.” Rodney Mast at Black Prairie Equipment Co., a Lindsay dealer at Columbus, Miss., handled system design and installation.
All the center pivots have GrowSmart Field Boss control panels, which offer automated control and monitoring of all systems, and allow programming of irrigation events with precise patterns and amounts that can be monitored and controlled wirelessly by computer or smart phone.