We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of cutting-edge technology at the National Farm Machinery Show next week in Louisville, Ky., including the 360 Rain unit from 360 Yield Center.  

It’s an autonomous irrigation system that’s also capable of applying manure, nitrogen and micronutrients through Y-DROP style hoses. It requires much lower volumes of water than traditional irrigation systems, and 360 Yield Center founder Gregg Sauder tells us it boosted yields by over 65 bushels per acre in some test fields. Sauder explains how it works.

“When we think about what actually happens in the field with a 360 Rain unit. Think of it this way — we’re going to hook to a water source in the center of the field. Wherever we go we’re laying down hose and we’re picking up hose. On this heavy reel that you see in the center of the machine, and the dispenser in the back, that’s where all the secret sauce is. We’re managing that hose. We cut perpendicular across your rows in the center of the field. We turn to the left, and go 1,300 feet to the road, in that same row, we’re going to back up, so going out we’re watering the outer half of the boom. Coming back toward the hydrant now, we’re watering here in front of the unit, so the tires never run in mud. When it gets to the center line of the field it’s going to turn its back end to the hydrant, stop, go to the right, and go down 1,300 feet and back, and it just watered 24 rows. As it turns the 2 nd time now it moves ahead either 80 or 60 feet, turns in left, and it just goes back and forth. In a matter of 5 days, we’re going to put a half inch of water on 160 acres.”

Sauder and his team will be at the National Farm Machinery Show next week, and we will be there, too. We’ll have updates throughout the week on our social media platforms.