From Cotton Grower Magazine – April 2016
As more cotton producers learn about the advantages of remote irrigation management, manufacturers are naturally contemplating the next step. For Reinke Irrigation, that new frontier is data management.
This spring the company debuted its ReinCloud Ag-Data Services software, designed to combine irrigation control with data management – all in a simple, user-friendly interface accessible on a farmer’s smartphone, tablet or
“ReinCloud is a new ag-data service that is going to be an open platform where additional online data can be shared, providing access to all that data in one location for the grower,” says Mike Mills, southeast territory manager for Reinke Irrigation.
For Reinke, the irrigation part of this software is second nature – the company has made a name for itself with a broad irrigation portfolio. But data collection and management is a relatively new venture, and the company is partnering with existing agriculture data brands to make ReinCloud a success.
“We’ve rolled ReinCloud out right now to communicate with our on-track field hardware for monitor and control of center pivot irrigation systems,” says Mills. “Our next step is to incorporate some soil moisture and on-farm moisture monitoring companies as ReinCloud Ready partners. Then we’ll be adding partners in the coming months that will take, really, any data that is collected on the farm and be able to provide that to ReinCloud, so that the grower can access all of their own data on the farm in one location, and make his decisions from there.”
Mills notes that the data collected and stored within the ReinCloud package doesn’t necessarily have to be moisture-related. The platform is built such that any on-farm data can be stored and analyzed within the ReinCloud system.
Perhaps the most practical feature of the ReinCloud package is the remote irrigation technology it offers. Growers are able to control center-pivots, for example, from their smartphones or tablets – any web-enabled device, as Mills notes – from great distances.
“The value in this is going to come in your ability to manage your irrigation hardware and manage your water application for maximum yield opportunities,” Mills says. “You’re going to be able to, in real time, remote-monitor the activity of your irrigation machines and control them so that you’ve got optimum water application and optimum timing.
“In the future, your return on investment is going to be the ability to monitor soil moisture, predicting and doing that irrigation scheduling. As well, you’re going to see some real-time labor savings and fuel savings in starting, monitoring and operating your equipment,” says Mills.