While a farmer has to manage many variables in order to drive success, one constant reality is that farming requires a dynamic management approach to reduce risk and maximize opportunity. And this is something Agrico’s technology delivers, and more.
When a farmer resides in Bloemfontein but has to keep a hand on farms in Hopetown, Jakkalsdraai and beyond, he or she needs an extra pair of eyes: a way to be virtually present on the farm, to be able to monitor every pump, pivot and pipe, and most importantly, to feel in control over a long distance.
This is exactly what Gerrie Scholtz found in Agrico Web Control, Agrico’s remote controlled and automated irrigation software.
Scholtz grows popcorn, wheat and alfalfa in the Free State. He also has a few livestock businesses to keep an eye on. His two irrigation farms are located near Hopetown, and are fully equipped with Web Control.
Irrigation design, seamless control
The Agrico Kimberley branch, led by Joe Coetzee, was involved in the irrigation design, installation and after-sales service. The irrigation system uses pumps equipped with variable speed drives (VSD) to supply water to centre pivots. The system allows your pumps to deliver water at the lowest acceptable speed, instead of running unnecessarily at full speed.
“Because I live in Bloemfontein, I am dependent on the people on the farm. Previously, If you wanted to turn on another centre pivot you had to switch on an additional pump that was maybe 3 or 4 kilometres away. Now you do it with your mobile phone,” says Scholtz.
“Web Control actually kind of changed my life. Because I don’t live on the farm, I just feel more in control, from anywhere.”
More precision, more savings
Scholtz points out that “when farming, you try to do everything with precision,” and “this includes your fertilisation, your plant condition and your soil. When it comes to water, you can’t afford to let it slip.”
The savings Scholtz achieved with Web Control could be seen in his total electricity consumption from day one. “With higher energy costs, you have to invest to become more effective and remain profitable. One way to do this is to have better control over your water supply and pivots.”
As the machine moves uphill and downhill, the system adjusts to the contours of the land and varies the pressure as needed, driving savings on energy consumption.
More about Agrico Web Control
Agrico Web Control is an internet-based irrigation solution for your centre pivots and pumps. The software offers remote control and automation from any smartphone, tablet or computer with internet access. The module gives you flexible programming, a detailed history of user inputs and events, SMS and/or telephone notifications, as well as control of more than one pump on one main line.