|Jeff Reed on his farm.|
(Enterprise photo by Nate Howard)
"He installed high-tech sensors to monitor a variety of data, including — but not limited to — rainfall and the moisture content of the soil, which, when tied in with his pump and irrigation system, allowed him to water only as needed, rather than turning his pivots on and allowing the water to flow all season," Liz Kearney reports for The Livingston Enterprise in Montana. The results were dramatic: He was able to run his farm with 30 percent less water this season (helped by a wet spring and early summer), and predicts he could make his farm use water up to 50 percent more efficiently in the future.
Reed also hopes to increase the nutrients in his farm's soil, thereby increasing the nutrients in his alfalfa. "If I can double the nutritional value, it’s like doubling the amount of my land," Reed told Kearney. "And land’s expensive."