Precision Technology In Farm Operations
Creating opportunities through innovation is a core value at R.D. Offutt Farms. By embracing advances in technology, our farmers can be more efficient, environmentally friendly and produce better yields. We use precision technology throughout our farming operation, from planting and irrigation, to harvest and storage.
Aqua Trac Soil Moisture Probe: The Aqua Trac Soil Moisture Probe is a standalone solar-powered unit that utilizes soil moisture probes and sensors so growers can track and measure soil moisture conditions in their fields remotely. Valley offers twenty-four and thirty-six-inch probes that detect soil moisture levels every two inches within the field. Aqua Trac also utilizes an interface that makes it possible to monitor and control the devices from anywhere in the world.
Autonomous Pivot: The autonomous pivot is a ground-penetrating radar that attaches to the pivot to pull soil moisture samples every thirty minutes. This allows growers to analyze soil moisture levels from multiple locations in the field. The autonomous pivot attachment also has tipping buckets and cameras to help the growers check crop growth from multiple angles.
Valley Scheduling Platform: Growers can use the Valley Platform Tool for its scheduling feature. Valley Platform utilizes the latest weather forecast to evaluate the crop's needs on a day-to-day basis.
SpotOn Technology: SpotOn Technology is a quick and effective tool for team members to check individual nozzles on a field’s irrigators. Once a nozzle is tested, the data can be compared to sprinkler charts to see if the correct amounts of moisture are reaching the crop.
Ultrasonic Flow Meters: Ultrasonic Flow Meters are an efficient and accurate way to check every pivot and installation in the field. These checks allow the team to ensure that the crops are receiving the right amount of water and to make decisions regarding pivot upkeep. The Ultrasonic Flow Meters also assist the team by verifying water usage so R.D. Offutt Farms can report the correct water use data.
Software Technology: We use John Deere’s software programs called iTEC Pro (Intelligent Total Equipment Control), AutoTrac with RTK (Real Time Kinematics) and Section Control in our tractors to reduce time, seed, spray, and increase land stewardship. These technologies help us in many ways, from planning our fields, planting seed and protecting our crop.
- iTEC utilizes field maps to optimize land. It marks our fields with exterior boundaries and interior areas that we do not seed or spray. The tractor will lift and shut off the implement as it comes into an area pre-identified “not to be planted” without the operator’s input. This eliminates planting in low areas that are subject to flooding or keeps an appropriate distance away from trees, highline poles/wires, or even neighbor’s property.
- AutoTrac with RTK allows tractors to drive a predetermined track with an accuracy of +/- 1” reducing overlap of seed and spray.
- Section Control is used to automatically shut off spray as it comes across pre-identified boundaries and prohibits spraying the same spot twice.