Gregg Sauder, president of 360 Yield Center, demonstrated the 360 RAIN autonomous irrigation system at the 2021 Farm Progress Show in August. The technology follows an RTK path created by a planter and delivers water, nitrogen and micronutrients directly to the base of the plant.
“What we’re talking about is a completely new way to farm,” Sauder says. “We’re saying what if we were able to time technology to come in and water a half inch a week? And not only just add water, but add nitrogen and micronutrients. So we’re really excited about this technology.
“Very simply, it follows the planter. The planter creates an RTK path, and our 360 Rain comes in and follows that path exactly. We’re watering at the base of the plant. We have nitrogen pumps and micronutrient pumps soak up that water stream. And then in the future, within the next six months, we’re going to be doing a manure injection in that water stream.”
The 360 RAIN machine operating at the show had 3,000 feet of hose on it, enough to cover at least a 160 acre field. Sauder said it’s designed to put on a half inch of water a week at the base of the plant.
“That’s totally different than the requirement that you would see through a pivot that’s putting water in the air,” Sauder says, “so the fact that we’re banding it next to the root, you got to take it times 2. If we’re putting a half inch next to the root, once a week, that’s really equivalent to an inch of water.”