New Series of Control Valves
Recognized for hydraulic efficiency and performance, Nelson Irrigation expands its lineup of control valves with the 1000 Series. Featuring higher flow capacity and lower friction loss than the 800 Series valves, the 1000 Series valves offer precise and stable pressure regulation and minimal pressure differential.
The 1000 Series provides high flexibility in valve style and connection, easy installation and maintenance, and three flow path options: inline, tee and elbow. There are five inlet/outlet styles: three types of proprietary Nelson flex-connect ends for mixing and matching and two wafer style options.
The 1000 Series valves use zone control for sprinkler or drip irrigated row crops. The valves fit solid set
irrigation applications or end of pivot solutions. For more information, visit www.nelsonirrigation.com.
Cohesive Irrigation Data Management
A new technology system is making it easier to integrate irrigation data into farm management systems. Irrigation Exchange from Valley Irrigation is a first-of-its-kind technology that allows the seamless transfer of precision data from BaseStation3, Valley’s remote irrigation management product.
The new technology overcomes the problem of data stored on different platforms, websites and cloud-based servers and allows farmers to integrate and manage irrigation equipment and data from select partner software systems. Irrigation Exchange also lets producers use irrigation management tools across different platforms and synchronize irrigation with other critical and interdependent farming activities.
For more details, visit www.valleyirrigation.com/ix.
Water Conservation Winners
Researchers and scientists from 20 land-grant institutions have been recognized for collaboration on a project that helps farmers use new micro-irrigation equipment, particularly during droughts and water shortages. The researchers received the 2014 Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research Award from the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy.
“The Multistate Research Program is one of the best-kept secrets of the land-grant university system, and this award recognizes outstanding interdependent efforts of researchers and Extension specialists who have come together to tackle a priority issue that no one institution can address on their own,” says H. Michael Harrington, executive director of the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.
Land-grant institutions that took part in the Micro-Irrigation for Sustainable Water Use project include: Auburn University, University of Arizona, University of California–Davis, University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Colorado State University, University of Florida, University of Hawaii, University of Idaho, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Mississippi State University, University of Nebraska, New Mexico State University, Cornell University, Oregon State University, University of Puerto Rico, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, University of the Virgin Islands, Washington State University and University of Wyoming.
New 9.1-Liter Propane Irrigation Engine
There’s a new Tier 4 diesel irrigation engine option—an emissions-certified, 9.1-liter propane engine from Origin Engines and the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC). Rated for 95 hp to 190 hp, the engine is made for continuous use and high-power applications. It is compatible with remote telematics monitoring systems and eligible for a $3,640 incentive through the PERC Propane Farm Incentive Program. Farmers buying new propane engines might also qualify for purchase incentives via state propane gas associations.
“We started with an engine block, which has a proven track record through decades of use, and updated it with modern technology to meet the demands and needs of today’s farmers,” says Pete Stout, Origin Engines sales manager.
When compared with diesel engines, propane irrigation engines cut fuel costs by 56%, according to a PERC survey.
For additional details on the 9.1-liter propane engine, visit www.originengines.com. To learn more about the Propane Farm Incentive Program and eligible equipment, go to www.propane.com/farmincentive.
Developmental Technologies Claims DuPont and Valmont Stole Trade Secrets
DuPont and Valmont have been hit with allegations claiming the companies stole trade secrets central to their Root Demand Irrigation (RDI) system. Developmental Technologies LLC (DTL) has filed suit against DuPont and Valmont, alleging “unauthorized removal and misappropriation of DTL’s proprietary, confidential and trade secret information,” according to the filed complaint.
In question are trade secrets and technology related to Eco-Ag, DTL’s crop-responsive irrigation system. DTL, a Florida-based corporation, develops technology and works with partners to manufacture and distribute products to the marketplace.
In 2009, DTL invited dozens of companies, including DuPont and Valmont, to review Eco-Ag’s potential. According to the complaint, all parties signed non-disclosure and non-use agreements with DTL. Those agreements run through 2016 for Valmont and 2019 for DuPont.
In 2009 and 2010, representatives from DuPont and Valmont visited DTL’s work site several times, learning DTL trade secrets, including installation details, technical information and marketing data. Later, DuPont and Valmont formed a common venture that did not include DTL.
In 2014, Valmont hit the irrigation market with RDI, a system that uses underground tubing technology developed by DuPont. RDI follows the natural process of root exudation, a means in which plant roots send signals to release low pressure water from underground tubes. However, DTL claims RDI technology is based on trade secrets taken directly from Eco-Ag irrigation processes. Eco-Ag is not yet commercially available, but DTL is working toward market release with manufacturers and irrigation distribution personnel.
“We are confident the allegations against DuPont are without merit, and we will vigorously defend against these allegations,” says Gregg Schmidt, DuPont spokesman. Valmont declined to comment.
“We invited many companies to view our Eco-Ag plant responsive technology by walking our fields, touring our greenhouses and getting a hands-on look at our product. Two of those large firms, Valmont and DuPont, demonstrated considerable interest,” says Dave Conklin, executive vice president, DTL. “After meeting with them in 2009 and 2010, we never came to any agreement to take our product to market. They opted to pool their considerable resources and develop a competing product without informing us.”
DTL’s complaint includes “misappropriation of trade,” “misappropriation of ideas,” “unfair trade practices,” “breach of contract” and “unfair competition.” DTL requests a trial by jury.
“When we became aware of their actions with the Root Demand Irrigation product, we moved to protect ourselves and prevent DuPont and Valmont from profiting through our work,” Conklin states. “Now, we find ourselves as underdogs against a couple of big companies with a product based on work we did.”