The future of agriculture technology is all around us — everything from autonomous tractors to apps that can pull up records in an instant. To continue expanding technology in agriculture, Lindsay Corporation announced the smart pivot — a new category of mechanized irrigation that moves beyond traditional water application and management to a wide array of crop and machine health capabilities, while also delivering water and energy savings.
Lindsay’s smart pivot comes to life through two smart streams — FieldNET advanced agronomics and Zimmatic machine health — 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. Several of the smart pivot features are the outcome of collaboration and joint development with strategic partners, including Taranis.
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.
- Ability to optimize irrigation at scale to each unique farm, based on operational objectives, with priorities focused on conserving water and energy.
Zimmatic Operational Support and Machine Health
Lindsay is introducing never-before-seen machine health capabilities that include:
- Advanced machine monitoring at the component level (i.e., tire pressure, gearboxes, and motors), 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.
- Broader detection and reporting of application issues such as ponding, plugged sprinklers and poor spray patterns to drive greater uniformity and precision.
- Support for growers in evaluating and continuously improving 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.
“The smart pivot introduces the next era of mechanized irrigation,” said 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 center pivots.” Oberto described the smart pivot 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,” he said.
Smart pivot features are in development now. 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.
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