Sunbelt Expo features irrigation technology - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sunbelt Expo features irrigation technology

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MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -

One of south Georgia's largest annual events starts Tuesday in Moultrie.

The 34th Annual Sunbelt Agriculture Expo will showcase the future of agriculture.

Visitors can evaluate models and brands of equipment and products that might not be available in their area.

More than 1,200 vendors from all over the world will demonstrate the latest technology in farm equipment.

With the drought we had, this year is focused on irrigation.

The Sunbelt Expo is a must-attend event for anyone in agriculture.

But even if you are not involved in row crops or livestock, it is a great time for consumers to find out what farmers are doing to supply the food we eat everyday.

This year, one main focus is irrigation.

"With the drought over the last year, we just continue to look for ways to be more efficient stewards of the resource we call water," says Chip Blalock, Sunbelt Ag Expo Exec. Director.

Reinke Manufacturing Incorporated donated a new 8 tower center pivot irrigation system, upgrading from manual to computer based technology.

"The farm manager can monitor the field situation at the actual irrigation pivot point, make programming decisions and download that information via a radio signal right to the irrigation machines," says Mike Mills, Reinke Territory Manager.

And by using water more efficiently, less labor can now yield a better crop.

 "It will adjust its speed, so in the wetter areas it will speed up and in the dryer areas it will slow down," says Mills.

The machine can also monitor Weather conditions and react to weather changes.

"In the event that a particular amount of rainfall occurs, it will automatically stop the center pivot so that we are not watering in the rain," says Mills.

"It would be 30 min before we got out here in the middle of the night to turn the unit off, now we can just do it from our PC, and you know 30 min of water is a big difference in the whole scheme of things, especially in a drought, especially with $3.75 diesel and electricity costs where they are," says Blalock.

And that means thousands of dollars, Farmers can now keep in their wallets.

The expo is located at Spence Field in Moultrie and will run Tuesday through Thursday.

Gates open each morning at 8:30.

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