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If a centre pivot irrigation machine is well-designed, made from high quality steel, and properly maintained, it will outlast the farmer. All these are characteristics are made available to farmers by Valley centre pivots. A Valley irrigation system makes it possible for the farmer to harvest a bumper crop year after year.
Hannes Schutte of Sudami 13 CC farming near Groblersdal bought his first Valley centre pivot irrigator in 1998 and since then added a new centre pivot every year to his team. Today he is the proud owner of 11 Valley centre pivot irrigators.
“The centre pivot pays for itself within two to four years depending on the crops you grow and the size of the system,” says Hannes. “Valley gives the farmer peace of mind to plant his cash crops without worrying about the risk of a drought. It is not by any means a small investment but becomes inevitable for the farmer who wants to expand his farming activities and increase his yields.”
“The first centre pivot that I bought, is still working every day 22 years after I invested in it. Valley provides a high quality product, but in the end everything depends on how the farmer maintains his machine.”
“Farmers like to utilise their centre pivots to apply fertiliser and other chemicals. This is not a problem with Valley’s galvanised piping, but it is always good practice to flush the system properly after using it to apply the fertiliser or chemical substance. That is how I maintain my centre pivots and why they still look like brand new machines after being in service for many years.”
“There are certain aspects of the centre pivot that has to be inspected every day, such as die sprayer nozzles to ensure that there is no clogging. The wheels and tyres also have to be inspected every day. If a tyre puncture is not spotted quickly, it can result in further damage,” says Hannes.
Apart from standard maintenance, Hannes ensures that all gearboxes and driving shafts are properly serviced before the onset of a new season. It gives him peace of mind to know that his centre pivots will not stand idle when he needs them most.
‘Valleyfication’ of a different brand of centre pivot
The size of the 11 centre pivots on his farm vary between 1,7 and 90 hectares. “On another farm I inherited a different make of centre pivot but, over the years, I replaced most of its components with Valley parts,” says Hannes.
Hannes and Jimmy Ludwig of Loskop Valley Irrigation in Groblersdal combined closely to extend the systems on Hannes’ systems on the farm. Jimmy and Loskop Valley Irrigation played a major role over the years in the success of Sudami Farming. “Valley invest in good relations with the farmer to ensure that after-sales service will be maintained for as long as the life of a centre pivot,” says Jimmy.
The various management systems used by Hannes to control his centre pivots were selected with a view to easy control. “I can program the oldest pivot on the farm for two weeks in advance; something that was inconceivable at the time when it was installed,” says Hannes.
Francois Griesel explains how Valley still has their finger on the pulse regarding the latest irrigation technology. “The Valley 365™ platform was introduced during NAMPO Virtual 2020. This is an electronic platform which the farmer can offload on his smartphone, tablet or computer. It gives the farmer access to all the tools needed to keep track of soil moisture and weather conditions. He can also utilise this platform to control and adjust the settings of the different pivots. Consequently the farmer can exercise control over his farm as a unit irrespective of where in the world he may find himself.”
Apart from being ‘smart’ centre pivots, Valley still construct them as sturdy as ever; high quality galvanised steel and a solid design place Valley in a class of its own.
“Since I erected the first Valley on my farm in 1998 until this day no pivot on my farm has capsized . . . and we’ve weathered a number of severe storms which uprooted really big trees,” says Hannes.
Valley’s extensive dealer network reaches all over Southern and Eastern Africa with more than 80 service centres. Contact Francois Griesel for more information regarding Valley Irrigation and the Valley 365™ control system at Francois.Griesel@Valmont.com, or phone +27(0)67-412-9089.