Flow Meters Help Idaho Grower Improve Water Efficiency
For Idaho grower Jacob Andersen, installing smart flow meters was “a no-brainer”.
“I used to have a traditional meter by the pump, but I will always have smart meters from now on,” Andersen said. “For today’s farmers, it’s all about data – you’ve got to pay attention to it. Water is expensive. You have to track it.”
Andersen is required to meter water use on his more than 2,000-acre operation near Arbon, Idaho. He runs seven center pivots over 740 acres of alfalfa, wheat and forage grains. He integrated FieldNET® technology into his irrigation system to help measure water use and more.
“Smart metering really is a no-brainer – especially when you pair it with FieldNET. I can accurately measure my water usage and report on it over time – and that’s vital for accurate analysis. It’s all done automatically, which is a huge benefit for me,” he said. “Irrigation is something that we constantly tweak to find the right balance between cost, efficiency and yield.”
Andersen also relies on FieldNET to ensure his irrigation systems are operating efficiently.
"One unique scenario, where a smart meter is a huge help for me, is for one of my wells that’s pumping almost at capacity. I’ve noticed that the well produces less through the irrigation season – and the drawdown/lift increases – and that affects my gallons per minute (GPM) through the pivot,” he said. “With FieldNET, I can check the GPM from my phone when the pivots are running, which is great for my sanity – knowing everything is fine. It also sends me alerts if my GPM drops below a certain threshold, so I can respond appropriately.”
With the help of his Zimmatic dealer, Double M Supply, Andersen incorporated his first two smart meters two years ago and added another two last year. He said he plans to add another one to his system this year.
“They’re the obvious choice. I try to minimize my labor costs, so I appreciate the simplicity of automation,” he said. “It’s such a massive benefit with very little additional cost. Almost all of my meters are from my Zimmatic dealer, and that’s what I’ll continue to buy.”
Ask your local Zimmatic dealer how smart metering technology can benefit your operation.
This is the fourth in a series of articles we’re posting during Smart Irrigation Month. To view previous posts, visit: