VALLEY, Nebraska, USA (November 9, 2017) – Valmont® Irrigation, The Leader in Precision Irrigation®, introduces a new center drive that delivers the perfect combination of speed and power. The new Valley® X-Tec™ advanced DC drive motor uses FastPass™ technology and operates up to twice the speed of a standard, high-speed AC center drive motor. The motor design provides constant torque at any speed, providing growers with unmatched control and additional options to maximize crop yields.
The patented alignment technology and robust DC motor keep the center pivot moving at a smooth, consistent pace, even over varied terrain.
The drive technology allows the Valley X-Tec to move at speeds as low as 1 RPM – just 1% of maximum motor speed – or ramp up to a fast 136 RPM, giving growers the abilities to gain consistent application at any speed and to take on even the toughest terrain.
The benefits of speed
“While the power of the Valley X-Tec drive is attractive for running the center pivot at lower speeds in difficult terrain, it is really the high-speed capabilities that appeal to many growers,” explains Valmont Irrigation product manager Christopher Righter. “It is ideal for crops that need to be cooled every day, or to maintain proper surface moisture during germination.”
For example, crops such as carrots and potatoes are more susceptible to heat and sun. They require a daily cooling spray to remain healthy. Running a center pivot over the crop at top speed provides the proper cooling for plant health.
“We have found the high speed of Valley X-Tec is also very helpful to those growers with center pivots that are less than a full circle; as the center pivot comes to the end of the watering cycle, it can quickly and immediately move back to the beginning of the cycle,” says Righter. “That way, it does not start watering where it just finished a cycle. Instead, it goes back to the beginning of the cycle where it is driest.”
During germination, the Valley X-Tec speed allows the grower to provide frequent, light applications, which allow the plant to push through the soil more easily. Then, during early stage crop growth, maintaining soil moisture can prevent sand from blowing and damaging leaves while minimizing erosion.
With FastPass technology, growers have additional options for applying fertilizer through the center pivot. Moving the center pivot at a high speed also provides the option to fertilize through the leaves.
“The timing of foliar application can be tricky, and fertilizing through the center pivot gives the grower more control,” says Righter. “If the weather changes, the grower does not have to wait for an aerial applicator or get a sprayer ready to apply the fertilizer or protective crop chemicals. He can just set the center pivot to fertigate as the timing is right.”
The wide range of speeds available with Valley X-Tec technology makes variable rate irrigation (VRI) a natural fit. Varying irrigation under one center pivot allows for simpler split-crop management. Irrigators can also program their center pivot to run at faster speeds over low spots, preventing over-watering in areas that need little or no water, while slowing down over areas that require more water.