FieldNET by Lindsay has changed the way Môrester Estates manage their irrigation
Nov 17, 2020
Eric le Roux is a production manager on a farm in the Koue Bokkeveld in the Western Cape of South Africa. He is mainly in charge of the vegetable fields on Môrester Estate, the farm that he has worked on for over 7 years now, and graciously accepted our invitation to talk about how some of our products have changed the way in which he approaches irrigation forever.
The farm only makes use of Zimmatic pivots, of which there are 12. For the past 25 years, Zimmatic has been the only brand of pivot used on Môrester.
Môrester Estate is well-known for their commitment to technology and the use of innovation on their equipment. Eight of their Zimmatic pivots are already using FieldNET Pivot Control. The remaining four are being fitted with new Zimmatic 700C panels this season. Some of their pumps also use our self-start function to create an even more automated irrigation system.
When Eric was asked why they prefer using Zimmatic pivots, he said that it is because Zimmatic pivots are world-renowned and known for their durability and effective water application.
“Zimmatic pivots feature some of the most advanced technology in irrigation. The ability to use them with other solutions like FieldNET ensure that Zimmatic produces irrigation equipment that cater to the needs of young farmers. We want to use technology and gadgets to make our jobs easier,” he added.
South African growers have faced severe droughts in parts of the country for the past few years. Earlier this year, AgriSA reported that more than 40% of South African farmers were negatively affected by this, with many becoming despondent as to how they can ensure proper harvests with almost no rain on the cards. Eric says that when they weighed up their options, they saw one logical conclusion: they had to install FieldNET on all of their pivots.
FieldNET is an award-winning remote irrigation platform. It not only allows a farmer to control his pivots from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet or computer, but it can also generate automated irrigation plans based on in-field data. When having to make difficult decisions regarding how much to irrigate when resources are scarce, FieldNET can assist in coming up with irrigation plans that will lead to the best possible outcome.
“Since we’ve started using FieldNET on our pivots, we have seen a saving in resources and time. FieldNET manages to create accurate irrigation recommendations based on resources available on a particular farm. Other than that, being able to control your pivots from anywhere makes managing multiple fields very easy,” Eric said.
According to Eric, he hasn’t even scraped the surface of what FieldNET can offer the fields he is responsible for.
“I’ve probably only used about 60% of FieldNET’s capabilities. Even after all this time I am still learning more about FieldNET and the unique ways in which it can help me to optimise our irrigation operation,” he explained.
When asked exactly how FieldNET has helped them to save, Eric gave us an extended list, which includes wages, electricity and labour. He said that time is probably one of the biggest savings FieldNET has brought him and his team. Other than that, he has seen significant reductions in the amount of diesel and water they use on Môrester Estate.
“With FieldNET, you basically save on every aspect of what goes into a farm’s irrigation systems,” Eric concluded.
FieldNET can also detect problems on pivots even before they arise. This way, farmers are able to tend to possible issues before they lead to serious irrigation downtime. Eric has confirmed that since they started using FieldNET, they rarely have to deal with damage to pivots and water lines.
“The really great thing about FieldNET is that it alerts the irrigation team of potential issues on pivots. It can also cut off water pumps and stop irrigation cycles if need be, thereby limiting any potential damage to crops. Ultimately, this translates into better yields and increased profits,” he explained.
As a production manager, Eric relies heavily on data and analytics insights to plan for coming growing seasons. He says that FieldNET has fundamentally altered the way in which he approaches this aspect of his job too. This is because FieldNET offers comprehensive reports and saves all irrigation data to the cloud. Eric can view all sorts of statistics about the irrigation cycles on the fields he manages and accurately plan for the next season. By using FieldNET, he can eliminate human error and rest easy knowing that he is working with trustworthy figures.
According to Eric, FieldNET is at the forefront of this revolution in the way growers approach irrigation and crop management. He recommends that farmers try FieldNET on one or two pivots initially to experience its benefits for themselves.
“The savings will be self-evident within the first week of using the platform. Not only that, but I can almost guarantee you that your stress levels will also be kept in check, seeing as FieldNET offers you total peace of mind” he said confidently.
FieldNET can be purchased from any Lindsay Africa dealer and works on any brand of pivot. To learn more about FieldNET or to find your nearest dealer, click here.