FieldNET™ Gives Indiana Growers Options to Fit Their Operation’s Needs
Feb 15, 2021
When it comes to technology, the Wappels - Larry Sr., Larry Jr. and Eric - consider themselves early adopters.
“We’re a pretty forward-thinking, family-owned operation, so we want to farm every acre to its maximum potential,” said Eric. “Technology helps us manage our time, improve efficiency and maximize our return on investment.”
Located in Northwest Indiana, Wappel Grain and Herb, LLC is comprised of 9,000 acres of family-owned and rented farmland that produces corn, soybeans and mint. They currently use 57 center pivots to irrigate their crops, and they have plans to add five more machines this year. All of their pivots are now integrated with FieldNET technology - giving them the ability to remotely monitor and control their irrigation system from anywhere, 24/7/365.
“We started using FieldNET in 2014 or 2015,” he said. “One of the biggest benefits is time savings. We used to spend every morning and every evening driving around and checking all of the pivots. It wasn’t that big of a deal with the pivots that were closest to the house, but once we started spreading out, it became too much. Now, with FieldNET, I can pull up the FieldNET app while I’m drinking my morning coffee or right before I go to bed and know if they’re still running or if there’s a potential problem.”
About 40 percent of the Wappels’ machines are Zimmatic center pivots that were FieldNET-ready. Their other branded pivots operated on various platforms - until last year.
“On the competitor machines, we installed FieldNET Pivot Watch devices, so now everything is on FieldNET,” he said. “I put them on myself. It was very simple because the unit doesn’t tap into the machine’s electrical system. If I didn’t drop my screwdriver, it took me 10 minutes max for each unit.”
FieldNET Pivot Watch is a cost-effective, monitor-only solution that works on pivots of any age or brand - even hydraulic machines.
“It’s the perfect solution for the diesel machines or the machines that have pumps that need to be primed, because I have to start them from the field anyway,” he said. “That’s one of the things I really like about FieldNET - it gives me options. For some of my pivots, just being able to keep an eye on them is enough. For others, I want full monitoring and control. With FieldNET, there’s a solution for all of my needs.”
Unlike other solutions he’s tried, Wappel said he has complete confidence in FieldNET.
“I’ve used other systems that are okay when they’re working - but I wasn’t able to keep them working. When it’s not raining, our pivots have to be running. With FieldNET, we have confidence that they’re doing the job we need them to do,” he said. “I’ve already recommended it quite a few times because it’s so reliable. Nothing else on the market is as reliable as FieldNET.”