Using Technology to Your Advantage -- Saving Resources with Pivotal Advantage by Tyler J. Baum
In today's economy, growers need to use every opportunity to save as much money as they can by using resources as wisely as possible. Very few things are more frustrating to a grower than wasting resources.
Pivotal Advantage, based out of George, Wash., has been in business for six years to prevent that from happening, as it pertains to applying chemicals and fertilizer in center pivots with corner systems.
Using a team that has combined experience of 30 years electrical, 35 years farming and 35 years of water management, Pivotal Advantage designed a system that will put the applied product in the correct location and correct calibrated amount -- ending the problem of over/under application on corner systems. The revolutionary control system from Pivotal Advantage is a complete system for chemigation and fertilization, assuring accurate and uniform application of center pivot corner systems.
Norman "Snap" Keene, president of Pivotal Advantage, says that prior to this system, chemigating and fertigating was a guessing game.A meter is installed at the pivot center that maintains consistent application by monitoring the water flow through the system and automatically adjusting the injection -- when the end gun shuts off, the amount of chemical and fertilizer drops. By calibrating the amount of chemical or fertilizer in exact proportion to the amount of water being pumped out, the consistency of the system eliminates over/under application to keep within EPA standards.
"As the sprinklers shut off as that thing is coming in, the exact proportion of that water slows down, telling our drive to slow down in the exact same amount," he says.
Chris Schilling, operations manager for Terra Gold Farms in Othello, Wash., uses Pivotal Advantage on some of their pivots.
He says that if the application amount stayed the same regardless of the amount of water, "we wouldn't get all the nutrients or the chemical we want where it's needed, so it'd be lacking in nutrients at the end of the tower." Instead, the pump compensates whether the water output goes up or down.
Schilling says the system has been working well for them. "We've taken aerial photos [after using it] last summer. We could see it 'spoking.' Anytime you'd see the gun kick on, you'd increase your water but your fertilizer or your chemical would stay the same, and you'd get lighter green areas. You could tell when your end guns come on and when your end guns come off. But with [Pivotal Advantage], you're getting rid of the spokes. Sustainability is the way I would put it."
He says that whenever they install a circle with a corner system in a potato field, they'll install another Pivotal Advantage System with it. Last year, they purchased two; this season, they purchase four more.
The Pivotal Advantage System is easy to install and maintain. Growers simply plug the system into an existing injector pump location. Ensuring the ease of installation and operation of the Pivotal Advantage System was paramount to their designers, with a combined 30 years electrical background and 35 years of water management background. They system is completely UL labeled and approved.
Pivotal Advantage offers optional Bluetooth technology automation that can be operated or monitored remotely via radio, computer, or telephone. PLC is also available for data input and output.