The pioneer citrus grower in Visalia, CA uses the ClimateMinder system to monitor the soil moisture and EC conditions remotely in real-time.
AZUSA, CA (May 16, 2014) —Larry Peltzer, a 4th generation citrus grower in Visalia, CA, was able to improve his water efficiency by up to 40% by reducing the watering time and frequency, thanks to the real-time soil moisture data collected by his wireless ClimateMinder stations. “By closely monitoring the soil moisture trends through the profile on our iPads and mobile phones, we were able to extend our irrigation cycle from every 7-9 days to every 12-15 days. This helped us save around 30% to 40% on water.” said Larry Peltzer, the owner of LRP Orange Co.
Larry described their main challenge and how they managed it as follows: “Due to the lack of available surface water and diminishment of our underground water supply, we wanted to make sure that we were as efficient as possible with our timing and the water amount applied. The ClimateMinder system has done an excellent job in providing us with that information. The system allowed me to irrigate less by eliminating the guess work. By using the product, we’ve become more efficient with our water usage and fertilizer application, while saving on fuel and labor.”
In addition to the water savings, Larry was able to increase his crop yield by up to 15%-20% due in part to the Rain Bird ClimateMinder system. His yield jumped up to 60+ bins per acre in 2014 from 50+ bins per acre in the previous year. The ClimateMinder system makes yield increase possible by helping growers reduce or eliminate the risk of root disease development due to soil being too moist and ensure the applied nutrients stay in the root zone.
Larry Peltzer’s ClimateMinder system is installed and maintained by Irrigation Matters in Tulare, CA. Irrigation Matters’ interpretation of the data provided by the ClimateMinder system and close work with the grower were key contributors to the efficiency increase. Carl Gwilliam, the owner of Irrigation Matters and the parent company, Tulare Ag Products, said: “Irrigation Matters’ goal is to help their growers meet their needs through excellent service and support from data interpretation to software education. In the rapidly changing Ag technology marketplace it gives us confidence to know that we and our growers have an experienced company like Rain Bird as a partner. Our strong partnership with Rain Bird and hands-on experience with their best-in-class product, the ClimateMinder system, allowed us to help Larry Peltzer and other growers become more efficient with their farming operations.”
2014 will be a more difficult year for all growers in California due to the serious drought. Larry describes their challenge as follows: “The way the water situation is now with lack of surface water, we need to manage available water as efficiently as we can. One of our ranches doesn't have any wells and we are only allocated 90 days of surface water. Therefore, we are now harvesting our Valencia oranges to take load off the tree, so the tree can survive the drought and hopefully produce a viable crop for next year.”
Growers also use Rain Bird’s ClimateMinder system to continuously monitor the changes in electrical conductivity (EC) to make sure they are not pushing out their fertilizers below the root zone. “With bulk and pore EC measurements, we can tell the distance that liquid fertilizer penetrates when we fertigate. We are maintaining that in the root zone. Now that the state is watching over us very closely with nitrates, we will have evidence to show that we are not abusing our nitrogen application.” said Larry Peltzer.
For more information about the Rain Bird ClimateMinder system, visit http://www.rainbird.com/ag/products/ClimateMinder.
ABOUT RAIN BIRD CORPORATION
Headquartered in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. From simple beginnings in 1933, Rain Bird now offers the industry's broadest range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes, available in more than 130 countries. Rain Bird has been awarded over 450 patents worldwide, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler. Rain Bird’s philosophy called The Intelligent Use of Water™ is about using water wisely. Its commitment extends beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities around the world. www.rainbird.com
ABOUT IRRIGATION MATTERS
Irrigation Matters offers Remote Field Management services to grower across California giving growers Eyes Under the Soil with its ability to monitor soil moisture, temperature, EC, pest modeling, pump control and so much more. Irrigation Matters is part of the Tulare Ag Products family, which was established in 1992 with the simple mission of helping California growers produce quality fruit. What began strictly as a fertilizer sales company has grown into a family of companies, in order to meet the needs of growers throughout the western United States. www.irrigationmatters.com
ABOUT LARRY PELTZER
Larry is a 4th generation family farmer. Peltzer family originally came to Orange County from Kansas, where they farmed wheat. Until they started focusing on citrus, they grew various vegetables, walnuts, grapes and cotton in different parts of the state. The family recently celebrated its 100th year reunion in California. While primarily growing citrus and pomegranates on his 120 acres around Visalia, Larry is also heavily involved in his family’s farming operation of over 1,000 acres. Larry recently served as president at the Tulare County Farm Bureau, where he has been a member for over 20 years.