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São José Farm in Mato Grosso, Brazil, is an impressive cotton plantation that extends over 6,400 acres (2,600 hectares). Visitors describe it as looking like a soft white cloud covering the whole ground all the way to the horizon.
Arilton César Riedi founded the farm 40 years ago. In the early years, the cotton crop was entirely rain fed, but over the years, the team realized the need to adapt.
Fifteen years ago, they installed the first Valley® center pivot on their property. Since then, the difference between irrigated and dryland cotton is very evident. “From the beginning, we noticed higher yields and better quality in the cotton under this pivot,” says farm agronomist William Gomes. “Even when dryland results fluctuated, irrigated yield on that field was constant.”
More recently, the team decided it was time to evolve further. “We looked to Valley again, 15 years after we purchased our first pivot,” Riedi says. “This time, we got five more pivots with Valley X-Tec® center drives. They ‘went live’ this past April.”
They soon discovered four ways the X-Tec benefited their farm.
1. Precise Application of Water
X-Tec proved to be the ideal solution for São José Farm. The innovative high-speed pivot motor delivers faster and more efficient irrigation, thanks to the patented FastPassTM technology.
With X-Tec, the center pivots complete irrigation passes in a shorter time, even on rough terrain. The constant application of water allowed by X-Tec also means irrigation is uniform and highly controllable. “When we were introduced to X-Tec, we immediately thought about reducing the irrigation depth, because cotton does not need a very large volume of water,” Riedi says.
2. The Ability to Apply Crop Protection Products through the Pivot
They were also able to chemigate and fertigate through their center pivots, protecting their cotton from pests and disease. They also saved the time and expense of hiring commercial applicators. “The pivot is also perfect for fertigation and pesticide application,” Riedi says. “That helps us avoid significant crop losses and ensure a high-quality crop.”
3. Energy Savings
Riedi points out that one of the biggest advantages of the center pivots equipped with X-Tec is the energy savings. “Thanks to the speed of the equipment, we are able to irrigate only at the designated hours, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., when the power is less expensive, and the pivot stays on for almost the entire time. Because of this, we can consistently produce yields that exceed production costs.”
4. Increased Yields
The income from cotton is the backbone of the entire farm, so it is urgent the cotton production is consistently high. Once again, X-Tec helps with that concern.
“In the last harvest, we harvested about 340 arrobas (11,016 pounds) per hectare in the irrigated area, which totals 880 hectares (2,174 acres). In the rain-fed area, the average was 270 arrobas (8,748 pounds). Irrigation helps us maximize yields much more easily. If I planted only in rain-fed areas, I would risk operating at a loss,” explains Riedi.
1 arroba = 32.4 pounds
1 hectare = 2.47 acres
The farm’s focus on irrigation and cotton genetics results in a high-quality product and explains the success of the entire enterprise. “The efficiency of center pivot irrigation with Valley X-Tec gives us a high-quality product and positive results,” Riedi summarizes. “It made an impressive difference for us.”
To learn more about how the Valley X-Tec high-speed motor can help you irrigate precisely, chemigate and fertigate through the center pivot, save energy and increase yields, contact your Valley dealer today.
Valley Irrigation is the worldwide leader in precision irrigation. The Valley brand of center pivot, linear and corner equipment provides solutions for conserving water and meeting the growing demand for food.
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