Hortau Talks Evolution of Irrigation Management at 50th Annual World Ag Expo

Hortau at World AgDespite the recent rains and an abundance of water in California’s Central Valley this winter, water management and Hortau’s real-time crop stress management system were the talk of the World Ag Expo on Feb. 14-16 in Tulare, Calif.

In fact, the evolution of irrigation technology was a major talking point for the show, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, as ABC 30 reports.

“Amidst one of the worst droughts in California’s history, water remains at the forefront of agricultural issues,” said ABC 30 reporter Vanessa Vasconcelos. “As the World Ag Expo in Tulare celebrates 50 years, one can see how irrigation techniques have changed throughout the world and state.

“Thanks to technological advances, growers are able to better understand how to manage and make the most out of their water. Take Hortau, for example, out of San Luis Obispo …”

Hortau irrigation management specialists were on hand at the show, demonstrating the company’s latest generation of ST field stations, which monitor soil tension, weather, flow meters and can even turn on/off irrigation pumps and engines automatically.

“We’re evaluating plant stress on a daily basis so we can see exactly what the plant needs — so we never put excess water on,” said Hortau High Plains regional sales manager Doug Larson, who has attended the World Ag the better part of the past two decades.

Hortau, one of the first wireless irrigation management systems in the industry, has been in business since 2002 and has seen growers come a long way the past 15 years in terms of technology adoption in the field. Larson discussed that evolution with Farmer Fred Hoffman of Talk 650 KSTE.

A Thrive Top 50 AgTech Company, Hortau also recently launched a new partnership with Yardney, helping the company push its water filtration system data from the field to the cloud, where growers can access the information and control system functions remotely from their mobile device or computer.

“We’re obviously evolving,” Hortau Salinas-area sales representative Cord Nuñez tells Vice Motherboard reporter Meredith Rutland Bauer. “Farmers used to use a shovel, and now they can use a phone or an iPad and see the soil moisture in real time.”

For more irrigation management insight from Hortau’s precision ag experts, be sure to listen to our podcast with Doug Larson below: