Lindsay Corporation, a Nebraska-based global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, has developed the smart pivot, a new category of mechanised irrigation that moves beyond traditional water application and management to a wide array of crop and machine health capabilities, while also delivering proven water and energy savings.
The smart pivot features ‘FieldNET’ advanced agronomics and ‘Zimmatic’ machine health diagnostics – both designed to support healthier crops and more sustainable farming practices while reducing risk and operational downtime, significantly expanding what the traditional pivot is capable of, according to the company.
Several of the smart pivot’s features are the outcome of collaboration and joint development with strategic partners, including Taranis, which monitors more than 20 million acres of land globally for over 19,000 customers in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and Australia. Taranis’ precision scouting solution allows the smart pivot to pinpoint challenges across the entire field for focused management, empowering growers to make more informed, timely replant, crop nutrition and protection decisions that optimise yields.
FieldNET advanced agronomics
The smart pivot uses sensors, high-resolution imagery and advanced algorithms to improve crop health – both above and below the crop canopy – with features including:
Automatic detection of leaf-level health issues, powered by Taranis, such as nutrient deficiencies, pressure from disease and pests and the ability to auto-detect and accurately revise crop growth stages and stand counts remotely; next-level efficiency with enhanced irrigation scheduling capabilities, deriving insights from high-resolution imagery and on-pivot sensors; and the ability to optimise irrigation at scale to each unique farm, based on operational objectives, with priorities focused on conserving water and energy, boosting yield production and eliminating diminishing marginal returns.
Zimmatic operational support and machine health
Lindsay says it is introducing never-before-seen machine health capabilities, including advanced machine monitoring at the component level (tire pressure, gearboxes and motors, etc), using predictive analytics and remote diagnostics to identify performance anomalies that could indicate wear or potential risk of failure.
Remote connectivity between the pivot and dealer service technicians to enable automatic notifications and service scheduling that will significantly help reduce downtime, lower operating costs and improve reliability is also included.
The new pivot also provides broader detection and reporting of application issues such as ponding, plugged sprinklers and poor spray patterns to drive greater uniformity and precision; and also helps growers evaluate and continuously improve the sustainability and profitability of their operations with real-time, running savings calculators that show water, energy and time saved over the course of the season.
Smart pivot field testing is already underway, and a limited commercial offering will begin in the spring of 2021 in North America, with a broader market release expected in spring 2022.
“The smart pivot introduces the next era of mechanized irrigation,” explained Gustavo Oberto, president of irrigation at Lindsay. “It delivers never-before-seen insights and efficiency to a grower’s operation, changing the way they – and the industry – look at and use centre pivots. The smart pivot can be described as a self-aware, always-there robot in the field, capable of at-scale crop health management, and ground-breaking machine health features. The smart pivot virtually takes care of itself – and your crops.”
“Our precision scouting platform captures comprehensive intel from the field and delivers easy-to-digest insights for Lindsay’s smart pivot,” added Ofir Schlam, CEO and founder of Taranis. “No other company delivers the high-resolution imagery, field analysis and real-time reports to monitor and respond to field health challenges like our platform. We’ve identified over 50,000,000 agronomic issues in our customers’ fields. Smart pivot customers will have continuous access to the same enhanced insights and field-proven results our current users rely on to make management decisions with confidence.”
“Today, growers care more than ever about the impact they’re making on their land and resources,” concluded Wade Sikkink, director of product management at Lindsay. “They need tools and methods that help them increase output, reduce risk and optimize for their specific operational objectives – and also help them demonstrate their dedication to high efficiency farming and conservation. Features like our sustainability calculator and custom objectives tool, along with the range of agronomic and machine health features, are what, combined, define the smart pivot. These are just the beginning, as we will continue to expand the circle of innovation with increasingly sophisticated yet easy-to-use smart irrigation solutions.”