Zimmatic Blog

The 2000s – A Decade of Game-Changing Innovations

25 Mar 2019

The 2000s – A Decade of Game-Changing Innovations

While advances in computerized irrigation began taking shape in the 1990s, they were taken to the next level in the 2000s. 

"It was definitely a decade driven by innovation,” said Reece Andrews, product manger for FieldNET and Zimmatic Controls. “Think about it – when the decade began, all you could do with a cell phone was make a call. But, in the few years that followed, flip phones evolved into smart phones that enabled the precision technologies that changed the way farmers work.”

Among the innovations that took shape during the 2000s was award-winning FieldNET® technology. Launched in 2004, FieldNET initially provided growers with web-based monitoring and basic control for any pivot. In 2007, the technology was enhanced to offer full cloud-based remote monitoring and control.

"FieldNET was, and continues to be, a game changer for irrigators,” Andrews said. “Since it’s launch, we have continuously enhanced features and extended its capabilities to more growers around the world. It can now be installed on almost any brand of electric pivot – delivering real time information, so growers can see exactly what their pivots are doing and control them quickly and easily.”

On the heels of the FieldNET launch came other game-changing innovations including FieldPLUS, an articulated pivot system that allows irrigators to “bend” their pivot around obstacles and Precision Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI).

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Developed Stu Bradbury and George Ricketts, Precision VRI helps growers apply exactly the right amount of water or chemicals to specific areas of their fields – maximizing yields and profitability.
"They’re now Lindsay employees but in the early 2000s, Stu and George were engineering students working summer jobs assembling irrigation machines in New Zealand,” Andrews said. “They got a first-hand look at some of the challenges that came with irrigation – including problems that occur when fields get too much or too little water. They knew technology could solve the problem, so they began working on the prototype that we now know as Precision VRI." 
With Precision VRI, each sprinkler is controlled to turn on/off or pulse at a customize rate depending on crop, terrain or obstacle. It’s recommended for fields with differing crops or planting dates, varying soil types, high runoff areas, low/flooded areas, obstacles or environmentally sensitive areas.
"Many of the tools that were innovated during the 2000s are still in operation today,” Andrews said. “We’re continually enhancing them to provide growers with the many benefits that come with precision technology."
This is the fifth in a series of posts celebrating the history of Lindsay Corporation and the first Zimmatic center pivot. Check out previous posts at: