in Agriculture

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Paul’s Pride is a 35-acre cattle ranch in Bakersfield, Calif., operating for the intensive grazing of approximately 100 Angus cows and calves. To maintain the highest quality grass required to feed these cows, Paul Blackmer, retired dairy cattle veterinarian and owner and operator of Paul’s Pride, uses approximately 54 million gallons of water per year.

Irrigation is essential to produce the quality of grass necessary for Blackmer’s cattle. Irrigation schedules are coordinated with the movement of the cattle each day. With only two other
part-time employees Blackmer needed an irrigation management system that would make daily management of his operation more efficient. Water and energy savings were also a major consideration. Upon the recommendation of Kern Turf Supply, a local Rain Bird distributor, and after attending a Rain Bird informational session, Blackmer installed Rain Bird’s IQ™ v2.0 Central Control with the
ESP-LXME Controller and WS-PROLT Weather Station.

IQ’s schedule optimization allows the ranch to take full advantage of the lowest energy rate program available, “Time of Use,” from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). Based on results of an energy audit conducted by PG&E Blackmer has shifted his irrigation schedule to when he would pay the lowest energy rate, where possible. Using IQ’s SimulStations™ he can operate up to five stations at the same time, which allows him to maximize the capacity of his well and well pump more efficiently.
Blackmer also uses IQ’s Cycle + Soak™ setting, which splits up the watering cycles over time allowing water to penetrate further into the root system, promoting healthier plant material and deeper root growth. Cycle + Soak also saves water by reducing run-off and puddling. In addition, he installed a WS-PROLT Weather Station. Using the weather data collected by the station IQ automatically adjusts the irrigation schedules based current conditions.
With such a large property, IQ’s flow monitoring and excessive flow alarms pinpoint problems and shut the system down automatically which saves Blackmer time. He also easily monitors IQ from an iPad when he travels out of state. Remote and mobile accessibility allows Blackmer to easily oversee his irrigation system and alert his employees to problems.