Managing irrigation remotely is almost becoming a standard practice for the companies that market products to the industry. Seeing your pivots on a tablet, or desktop computer, is nearly commonplace for those who invest in the technology, but one company is taking the idea a step further.
Reinke has launched ReinCloud Ag-Data Services, which as Mike Mills, territory manager, explains, means “we’re the first ones to go beyond center-pivot control to a true ag data service.”
With the ReinCloud, the user not only captures center pivot information, but other ag data can also be captured in the internet-based service. And the information can be displayed in a central dashboard that makes it easier to manage around the farm.
The cloud-based service makes sure any data collected is saved in the cloud, where the subscriber can share information with trusted advisers. And one of the first Reinke data collection tools developed is the RS300 Field Monitoring System, a base station to which you can connect other products. For example, weather stations can be connected to this system and send data to the cloud for you to have included as part of the information you gather for each field.
“Were just getting started with this system,” Mills says. “In the future, we can work with grain bin monitoring companies and other on-farm operations to provide remote monitoring with this system in the future.”
He notes that with the wide range of sensors now being deployed in agriculture, farmers can have more information available than ever before.
Launched last fall, the ReinCloud is just getting started; however, the RS300 station can already interface with a wide range of weather- and climate-, water-metering and soil-moisture-sensing systems. And all those data can be reported up through the ReinCloud for real-time access to field conditions.
All about the dashboard
Data dashboards are going to be more commonly used in the future, and the ReinCloud system uses the “dashboard” model. With a dashboard, the system pulls together information for a wide range of sources and displays them in an easy-to-read, graphical way.
You can see which pivots are on and what’s happening with soil moisture on a field-by-field basis, and basically whatever other information you can capture with a sensor. Right now, the Reinke system is irrigation-based, but as the company adds more services, as Mills says, that dashboard gains greater operational utility.
“That’s the model as we go forward,” he says. He adds that the company is working with other suppliers to develop application program interfaces (APIs) that will allow the ReinCloud to display additional data in the dashboard.
The cloud-based nature of the ReinCloud also means that you can access the information from anywhere — provided you have a web connection. “You can see the information you need right on your smartphone,” Mills adds. “We’re using an app for this in smartphones, which customers can bookmark to use.”
As Reinke adds more ReinCloud-ready partners to this program, customers will have a richer data dashboard for managing their businesses. For more information on the system, visit myreincloud.com.