When it comes to new technology on the farm, Brandon Christiansen is always ready to try it. So, when FieldWise telemetry products and services, based in Ewing, came up with a device allowing producers to remotely monitor, control and see positioning of their center pivots using a smartphone, tablet or computer, he was anxious to see how it worked.
Brandon and his father, Rick, who farm near Plainview, enrolled in Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program and became aware of cost-share funding in the program for pivot automation, so they started looking at remote automation systems. At first, they were skeptical of the capabilities and affordability of the systems on the market, Brandon says. But when Jared Kruntorad, sales manager with FieldWise, demonstrated one of their control boxes, the Christiansens were impressed by the response time of the controls. Instead of several minutes to start the operation as was common at the time, FieldWise controls operated within seconds of the remote command.
The company was founded in 2008 by Ken Kruntorad and his son-in-law, Brian Klawinski, to develop new technology that would be useful to growers. With help from daughter, Alicia, and son, Jared, Kruntorad moved the all-in-the-family venture forward. Using his working experience with center pivots and Klawinski’s extensive background in technology development as the basis for the business, they hoped customers would find their new technological tools useful.
“Receiving feedback from customers was important during the early years of forming our business,” says Jared.
The Christiansens and other farmer-clients provided feedback as they experimented with new FieldWise equipment. “When the crew first came out to install their equipment on the pivots, I watched them to see how the units were installed and how they operated,” Brandon says. That was six years ago. After experimenting with the functionality of the devices initially, they eventually adopted the systems on all of their pivots. For the Christiansens, the systems provide peace of mind, saving time and fuel in monitoring their pivots. They save money by alerting them of potential problems before water and fuel are wasted.
Article by: CURT ARENS