Trimble strengthens water management capabilities, enters irrigation market

Trimble strengthens water management capabilities, enters irrigation market

TRIMBLE announced last week that it has acquired the assets of privately held RainWave LLC and Hydro-Engineering Solutions LLC of Auburn, Ala.

The company said the acquisitions will help extend the monitoring and reporting capabilities of Trimble's Connected Farm solution and strengthen its water management expertise. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RainWave provides precipitation monitoring services for agribusiness, construction and engineering, government and consumer industries. RainWave will be part of the Connected Farm solution, which simplifies and integrates operations management by providing information exchange across the entire farm.

The RainWave service will provide farmers across the U.S. with rainfall data they can use to better manage their crop production. Using RainWave, farmers can set up a virtual rain gauge by entering global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for identified locations to receive a rainfall report for those locations.

Farmers no longer need to monitor dispersed gauges or manually track precipitation from on-site rain gauges; instead, they can obtain this rainfall information through the Connected Farm dashboard.

Hydro-Engineering Solutions is a civil engineering company that specializes in hydrology and hydraulics. It provides high-quality engineering services to federal, state and local governments as well as commercial entities and has extensive experience with streams and rivers.

Hydro-Engineering's expertise in hydrology and hydraulics modeling is expected to strengthen Trimble's water management solution in watershed analysis for both drainage and irrigation, according to the announcement.


Irrigation solution

In other news, Trimble announced last week that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of privately held IQ Irrigation of Christchurch, New Zealand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IQ Irrigation provides a precise hardware and software solution for controlling linear and pivot irrigation systems. It enables farmers to apply the right amount of water in the right place based on crop requirements, optimizing water usage.

IQ Irrigation's GPS-based system controls individual nozzles on most irrigator makes and models and can be operated remotely with an internet application that can be run from a computer or mobile device.

Options range from straightforward control of the irrigator to creation of no-spray or variable-spray areas to complex irrigator control with many variable watering patterns and liquid manure dispersal capability. The solution also includes application reports that detail which input (water, liquid manure or fertigation) was applied as well as when and where it was applied.

Farmers may select the irrigation patterns that best suit their crop, terrain and farming operation, including the ability to keep selected areas dry such as roads, waterways and farm buildings.

With IQ Irrigation's web-based solution, farmers can see in real time the location and status of the irrigator and a visual simulation of the current water consumption and irrigation patterns. Farmers can remotely stop, forward or reverse the pivot, turn the water on or off and speed up or slow down the pivot.

Farmers will also be able to monitor the status of their pivot or linear irrigators on Trimble's new Connected Farm dashboard after completion of the IQ Irrigation asset acquisition. This is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2013 in New Zealand and the first half of 2014 in the U.S.

"Trimble's acquisition of IQ Irrigation's assets will allow us to provide a solution in the irrigation arena, which further expands our product portfolio that spans the entire growing cycle," said Joe Denniston, vice president of Trimble's Agriculture Division. "With the solution, farmers can more efficiently utilize water by delivering the right amount of water to where it's needed. By also staying apprised of other critical information via the Connected Farm dashboard — such as rainfall data and weather forecasts — farmers can make more informed irrigation decisions for their operations."

Trimble has operated in New Zealand since the acquisition of Christchurch-based Datacom Software Research Ltd. in 1991, later acquiring Actronic Technologies of Auckland, New Zealand, in June 2013.

Since then, Trimble New Zealand has grown considerably and operates with more than 230 employees.

Volume:85 Issue:35

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