“Why didn’t somebody think of this sooner?”

Dana and Sharon Mohr of HydroSide Systems hear it all the time.

The Post Falls, Idaho, start-up company received national affirmation that the time had come when they won the 2020 American Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year award and received $30,000 to help grow the business.

HydroSide’s patent-pending system is powered by a self-charging hydroelectric platform. This is done by harnessing the power of the fast-moving water in the irrigation line. The water spins an inline turbine that powers the electric drive and moves wheel line, traveling gun and traveling boom irrigation setups.

The challenges that Sharon’s brother faced moving irrigation rigs as a farmhand in Hamilton, Mont., inspired them to seek a solution.

“We were talking about how labor-intensive wheel line irrigation was and doing our best to solve the problem and, in the process, also developed a way to fully automate a hose reel,” Dana Mohr said.

Wheel line movers can be remotely operated, and hose reels can “drive” themselves.

“No more walks to the middle of a wheel line to move a unit 60 feet and no more running a tractor to a field for another hose pull for a traveling gun,” Mohr said. “…And they have access to all their water usage consumption and other performance data in the palm of their hand.

“We added precision irrigation technology so that they can optimize their operations,” Mohr said. “With our integrated GPS, our units are accurate to within 2 inches.”

Though they have done little advertising, they are getting calls from farmers across the U.S. and from as far off as Norway who want to use their equipment. They are now taking orders for their hydroelectric wheel line movers, which will be ready for delivery in March. The autonomous hose reel mover debuts in May.

The Northwest Ag Show will give Mohr and company a good opportunity to answer the questions they receive from growers all the time, starting with how it works and why they should consider HydroSide.

“We can dramatically reduce their labor costs and that is very quantifiable,” Mohr said. “That is one of the areas where we see growers’ eyes just light up.

“On top of that, HydroSide has a more efficient delivery of water that doesn’t depend on someone having to get up in the middle of the night to keep the schedule going.”

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