Photo Credit: 360 Yield
This cool tool delivers bands of water directly to the base of the plant
By Braxten Breen
It has been a year of drought for many producers across the US and Canada. What would happen if a bunch of farmers took a self-propelled sprayer, attached a hose reel to it, and started to feed it on the move.
This crazy idea led to a completely new way to nurture farm crops, delivering water, nutrients, fungicides and more. Delivering bands of water directly to the base of the plant is the 360 Rain, providing advantages to traditional irrigation methods.
The 360 Rain is a 3-wheeled electric machine made up of a galvanized metal frame and tires with RTK and communication that provides control, coverage, and rate instructions through a cellular network connection.
With a 60-foot boom (24 rows), at 0.45 mph, the 360 Rain applies over 2,000,000 gallons of water per week through Y-DROP style hoses. Providing crops with 3 or 4 inches of moisture, and potentially nutrients and / or manure as well.
After two years of testing, the 360 Rain started to replicate trials with test strips. The trials show that 4.5-inches of water from 360 Rain generated an additional 65 bushels per acre for yield, or a 32% increase compared to non-irrigated strips.
With 360 Rain featuring the use of lower water demands, efficient delivery of nutrients, ability to adapt to irregular shaped fields, with a 7-foot clearance under frame, this maybe more of a machine than a tool, but after the recent drought, we thought it would be a great “tool” to help alleviate drought next growing season.