VALLEY, Neb. (Jan. 3, 2017) – Growers are about to gain smarter, simpler options for controlling and managing their irrigation pivots. Valley®, the leader in irrigation technology, introduces the smartest center pivot control available today with the new Valley ICON family of smart panels, providing intuitive control for any center pivot irrigation machine.
“With our release of four new control panels, growers will see firsthand the ease of operation with a very simple interface that’s extremely intuitive,” explains John Campbell, Valley Irrigation Manager of Technology Advancement and Adoption.
The ICON panels accommodate irrigators with varying needs. Whether buying a new pivot, upgrading an existing panel, changing from another brand of pivot, or switching from a different irrigation method, the advantage of operating an intuitive, full-color touchscreen interface that can be adapted to today’s quick changing technology is key.
Campbell states, “The ICON panels have expanded connectivity on a smart relay board, so they are ready for future upgrades. To bring that technology center stage, each panel comes equipped with AgSense® ICON Link, so all four models are compatible with both AgSense and BaseStation3™ telemetry technology. That makes it easy for growers to view data and control their pivots remotely, whether they’re expanding existing networks or just starting with remote monitoring and control.”
The new Valley ICON smart panels
Valley ICON10™, equipped with a 10-inch, full-color touchscreen display, works much like a tablet, but it’s right at the pivot point. It provides all the features of the current Pro2 control panel from Valley, but with more memory and speed. It is also GPS Ready and works with Valley Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) Speed Control and VRI Zone Control programs.
The Valley ICON5™ features many of the same benefits as the ICON10 on a smaller, five-inch display, and with soft touch buttons that provide easy, precise control.
With the Valley ICON1™, growers have full touchscreen control with a remote device, so there is no need to visit the pivot point or open the control panel to manage the machine. Growers can manage and control their pivots with a desktop, tablet or smartphone remotely through the ICON app, available for both iOS and Android. They can also use the ICON1 to connect to the app from the edge of their field using the new Edge-of-Field WiFi technology, saving them time as well as wear and tear on their vehicle.
The Valley ICONX™ easily brings any control panel – including all major pivot brand panels – into the AgSense or BaseStation3 network. It takes control of an existing panel using that panel’s circuits to deliver full ICON panel control. It’s an affordable way to upgrade and put more pivots on one network.
New Edge-of-Field WiFi technology
The new Valley Edge-of-Field WiFi technology allows growers to connect to their panel in the field without having to travel to the pivot point. It provides control with any tablet or smartphone through the ICON app. It comes standard with the ICON1 and is optional with the ICON10.
Blake Reid, Certified Irrigation Designer from Reid Brothers Irrigation in Unadilla, Ga., says Edge-of-Field WiFi is an asset to growers.
“Edge-of-Field WiFi is a real game changer. It gives the grower an aspect of control that’s never been offered before,” says Reid. “The operator now has the ability to control the pivot remotely while in the field and can have full control of the machine from the comfort of their truck or cab of their tractor. Edge-of-Field WiFi gives you all the confidence and assurances of being in the field while not standing at the panel itself.”
Intuitive and easy to use
While the Valley Pro2 control panel was a great success, the Valley ICON smart panels are designed and developed to be even easier to use.
Jeremiah Johnson, Project Manager for Central Valley Irrigation in Holdrege, Neb., says the Pro2 has been his favorite for years, and he resisted the idea of a new panel for himself and his customers. That all changed when he tested the ICON10 at his own family’s farm.
“It’s so easy to use. I installed and started using it with no formal instruction,” Johnson explains. “My dad, who is older and still using a flip phone, didn’t want the change, so he let me put it on a less active pivot. Now that he’s tried the ICON10, he wishes we’d put it on a very active pivot. It’s really simple to use, the software is great, and it’s very descriptive for the farmer to see what’s going on in the field.”
Upgraded optional features
Valley Irrigation states there are new optional features that can give farmers more information about field conditions so they can adjust their irrigation, chemigation and fertigation as necessary.
“There is wind, rain and temperature monitoring available with optional sensors,” says Vice President of Marketing, Matt Ondrejko. “This allows the grower to set parameters for their pivots. For example, if it rains an inch, the panel can be programmed to shut the pivot off. Or if the wind is blowing at a set 20 miles per hour, or the temperature goes above 75 degrees, the grower can tell the machine to stop at a certain field position.”
Whether growers opt to use the most basic control or the most advanced management, every ICON panel is designed to provide simple, intuitive control for farms of every size.
“The ICON panels provide the opportunity for more control than ever before, through a very simple interface,” Ondrejko continues. “We are very excited about this new family of smart panels, and I’m confident our growers will be, too.”