Local News

Reinke product wins two awards

Reinke Manufacturing continues to develop technology that promotes efficiency and saves time for farmers. 

The company is the recipient of two national awards for its pivot electronic swing arm corner technology, the first an AE50 award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the Irrigation Association New Product People’s Choice Award for agricultural irrigation.

“We’re very excited to be recognized by these organizations, especially since they represent both engineers and growers,” Reinke President Chris Roth said in a press release. 

“Our team here in Deshler has been working for some time perfecting the ability to improve water uniformity on corners and help producers grow more with less. These awards are a signal that we’ve achieved these goals, by providing the most advanced and precise swing arm corner in the irrigation market,” he said.  

The electronic swing arm corner (ESAC) saves time, labor and water. 

“Over the history of the pivot, you had big sprinklers in the beginning that shot water 40 feet and now, a sprinkler package doesn’t use a lot of energy and a lot less water,” Roth said. 

Reinke used advanced mathematics to control the uniformity of the water, Roth explained. 

“We control sprinkle groups on the swing arm corner, so we make sure the water is correctly applied,” Roth said. 

Swing arm corners move faster than the pivot parent system. The challenge was to control the swing arm to work in unison with the parent. 

“It’s controlled by GPS coordinates. We were the first in the industry to put GPS on swing arm corners,” Roth said. “The GPS will tell what you need to be turning off and on at certain times.” 

The benefit to the grower is to increase yields. Crops will receive the right amount of chemicals and water at the right time to produce healthy yields. 

“It makes the grower have more yield and use water as efficiently as possible,” Roth said. “Life is a lot easier for the grower and makes the water application very clear.” 

The ESAC technology is patent-pending. In field tests, ESAC showed major improvements for irregular-shaped fields and corner applications on rectangular and square fields. 

Reinke has also developed the Maintenance-Free Bearing bearing for pivots that is smooth and able to handle friction as the pivot rotates. 

“This material is so smooth and strong, you don’t have to grease it. It’s also maintenance free,” Roth said. The bearing is also patent-pending. 

In another project, Reinke is working with Israel’s CropX device that will allow the CropX cloud and Reinke’s cloud to communicate with each other for growers to monitor watering.

CropX sends a text message that watering is needed to effectively manage the fields.  

“What it’s doing is making the grower’s life easier, so they know when it’s getting dry. They’re being told when irrigation is needed to increase their yield opportunities,” Roth said. 

The system may be operated from a cell phone, laptop or desktop. Reinke has worked on the project since July and it is ongoing. 

“We had a relationship with them before, but now we’re developing products together,” Roth said. “What’s really neat, they’re an Israeli company and here we are in Nebraska.” 

Reinke didn’t slow down much last year because of Covid-19 and is still searching for new employees. 

“We are looking for help. We would take well over 50 people right now if we could find them. We’re rolling out all these products. Dealers and customers are excited,” Roth said.

The company has invested in the Deshler community to provide housing for potential employees. Reinke owns at least five houses and three apartment buildings.

Roth said the issue is hiring people from outside the area who need places to live. 

“We want to be able to provide them the ability to move here. Some of the houses we bought, we have sold to employees. It’s a way for us to try and provide housing,” he said. 

Additional community investments include a $100,000 donation to the new future swimming pool, matching grants for the Deshler Community Fund and masks for every student in Deshler, Thayer Central, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley, Superior and Belleville.