How Much is Irrigation Monitoring Costing You?
by Katie Bishop
Read below and use our savings calculator to see just how much money and water savings you can unlock with FarmHQ.
How Does FarmHQ Save Growers Money?
Every year, farmers shell out big bucks on irrigation labor and energy. Over the last decade, the costs of these two essentials have skyrocketed, and there’s no sign of it letting up. But even with all the cash poured into labor and energy, blunders still happen – flooded fields and equipment breakdowns are accepted parts of irrigation. Remote irrigation monitoring and automated irrigation systems offer farmers a new way forward, decreasing their input costs and decreasing their risk of irrigation failures. Still, many growers have reservations about adopting this new technology. Every irrigation setup is unique, so how can growers feel confident that remote irrigation monitoring and irrigation automation will work for their operation?
This Savings Calculator illustrates how much water and money growers typically save when using FarmHQ’s remote irrigation monitoring and irrigation automation.
The above calculator is a general estimate based on several assumptions: we used an estimated total labor cost of $25/hour, an average pump flow rate of 450 gal/min, and an average time to visually inspect irrigation of 20 minutes. These assumptions give a rough estimate of irrigation monitoring costs associated with five categories: energy, labor (limited to inspections only), highway fuel, irrigation crop damage, and water usage. In the sections below, we describe each of these expenses and explain how FarmHQ helps reduce or eliminate them. This information is based on the real-life experience of FarmHQ customers.
“There are a lot of gimmicks out there, but FarmHQ has actually made our jobs easier…Even if things go wrong just a few times and FarmHQ shuts the pump off, it totally pays for itself” – Gienger Farms
Pumping costs are the dollars you spend to run your pump each season. This essentially measures the amount of fuel or electricity you use and the cost of that energy. Growers can expect an 8% decrease in pumping costs thanks to FarmHQ’s ability to automatically turn pumps off when irrigation is finished and alert the user of any shutdown delay.
“This has changed our management style. Before, if we had a 10-hour pull, we’d have to wait until the end of the day to start it up so it didn’t finish in the middle of the night. Now, we can start when it’s convenient, and not care if it was going to finish in the middle of the night, which saves us from having an extra person check on them.” – Adam Stallaert
Most growers know the pain of sending hardworking crews out to drive around and check on irrigation. Not only does this take your team away from other tasks, but it also is a big chunk of your labor budget. Based on our average customer experience, we estimated that each irrigation check involves two crew members and takes 20 minutes. When you multiply that by an hourly wage (we assumed a wage of $25), it adds up! FarmHQ can save you 100% of your irrigation monitoring labor cost by empowering your crew to check the status of the irrigation via our app.
“I can look at my phone six times a day instead of doing six field drive-bys.” -Andrew’s Hay
There’s no such thing as a free ride, and that applies to the drives you take to monitor your irrigation. A gallon here and there may not seem like a lot, but added up over a season these drives can cost you hundreds of dollars. Reduce your highway fuel usage for irrigation monitoring to $0 by using the FarmHQ app.
Irrigation Crop Damage
“This summer, I had a Honda motor running [the traveler]. The chain was stuck and I was headed back to my car. I got a text as I was headed back to the truck to tell me that it wasn’t running. I would have been at home for 3 hours till I it figured out [without FarmHQ].” -Sam Gebhardt
Ever walked back to a dry field, thinking it had been watered, or stumbled upon a flooded one, when you had assumed the pump was off? According to our internal data from hundreds of farms across North America, there is a 12% chance of accidental over-irrigation each time a hose reel is run. While this seems like a low number, a single occurrence can mean losing thousands of dollars of revenue midseason—a frustrating, if not devastating, experience for most farmers. FarmHQ’s notifications let the grower know if something is wrong with their equipment, reducing your chances of revenue loss from irrigation failures from 12% to 0%.
“It has made it a lot easier to know when the traveler would be done… [we are] able to shut the pump off so we’re not overwatering.” – Nathan Baker
If you’re pumping hundreds of gallons per minute, every second counts. A ten-minute delay in turning off your pump can cost you thousands of gallons of water. FarmHQ’s automatic pump shutdown stops your pump instantly, saving the average grower about 1,285,112 gallons per irrigator every season.
“Before [FarmHQ], I wasn’t willing to irrigate 24/7 and would sometimes not run it at night so I could get a good night’s sleep, which isn’t the case anymore. It has also reduced the issue of arriving too early to the field which would be up to 2 hours before an irrigation run used to be completed!”-Scott Hoffman
Ever had an irrigation run interrupt a good night’s sleep? FarmHQ monitors your irrigation 24/7, allowing you to irrigate at night, check the app from the comfort of your own bed. There are some things in life you just can’t put a number on.
Getting a full night of sleep while saving money drastically changes growers’ lives. It’s one of the reasons that FarmHQ is utilized on hundreds of farms across America with a 95% annual renewal rate.
How Does Automatic Pump Shutdown Work?
These estimates assume that FarmHQ is installed on one hard hose reel and one pump. To learn more about FarmHQ for reels and pumps click below!