Copper theft is on the rise in rural areas. And with copper prices staying high, the theft is not likely to subside any time soon. But one company is helping farmers take matters into their own hands with a mobile application that sends an alert when something just doesn't seem right with their irrigation pivot.
"Netirrigate has a product called the Wire Rat. It has many capabilities. One of the good capabilities is that it prevents wire theft, or span cable theft," Mark McCormick said. "Once we apply these on your system, if the span cable is cut for any reason, you receive a text message or a phone call saying that pivot has been messed with, and you can call the deputy sheriff, you can call whoever you need to call, or you can go out yourself. But it will notify you instantly that the span cable has been cut and someone is stealing it."
Mark McCormick owns Agriculture Precision Supply and said that the demand for Wire Rat has really taken off in the past five years. The whole system only takes minutes to install onto your pivot, but has already saved farmers thousands of dollars in pivot repair and span cable replacement, not to mention pivot down time.
"Here outside of Petersburg a span cable was cut, they were notified," McCormick said. "They started toward the pivot and they could see the perpetrators leaving. Although they didn't steal any of his wire, they did cut it and were in the process of stealing it, therefore it saved him."
The Netirrigate system also meets a number of other irrigation management purposes, allowing farmers to turn pivots on and off from a distance.
"They have a safety stop alert for any reason your pivot stops, whether it goes out of line, if your electricity goes off, you'll be notified of that happening," McCormick said. "If you have these on your wells, it can also kill your wells. When the pivot safety stops, it will kill your wells, and it will also notify you if you have a well go down, it will tell you that."
And with a virtual GPS system and Google Maps picture, the Netirrigate app allows you to monitor irrigation progress in multiple fields at once by simply looking at your computer screen.
"It has a virtual GPS and it can tell you the position of it in the field," McCormick said. "You can call these on your phone and turn your pivot off from a cell phone or from a computer. They have an iphone app that works on any iphone, free download. Years ago we were all compact, now there are miles and miles between your irrigation systems. With labor and fuel being expensive you can't always get to each irrigation system everyday. So this allows you to pull them up on your iphone, your smart phone and computer."
McCormick said that a down pivot can cost farmers valuable time and money, especially in key watering periods. Agriculture Precision Supply provides multiple solutions to irrigation problems, including the Wire Rat app which is helping prevent copper span cable theft in fields across the country.
"Agriculture Precision Supply, we're a pivot sales and service business. We work on any brand of pivot, it doesn't matter the color. Any kind of down problem you have, we can fix it," McCormick said. "We can sell you Netirrigate, Wire Rat, we can sell you panel boxes, pivot boxes, mach 2 tires, just about anything you need for your pivot situation, we can fix you up."
Now more and more mobile applications are becoming available for agriculture producers in order to help meet management demands. If you would like more information about the Netirrigate systems, just visit Agriculture Precision Supply's website at www.goA-P-S.com .