OMAHA, Neb., Feb. 7, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Valley® Irrigation, a leader in advancing agricultural productivity, has partnered with Goldcrest Farm Trust Advisors, manager of the Goldcrest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), to transform neglected farming dryland into a productive, efficient and sustainable operation for progressive farming tenants.
The Goldcrest REIT purchases and improves farmland for lease throughout the United States. In 2018, the organization invested in 25,000 acres of farmland near Texarkana, Arkansas, situated in a prime location along the Red River. The area averages 50 inches of rainfall per year; however, plants require water at specific times to produce the highest yield. That’s why best-in-class irrigation is crucial to Goldcrest.
Goldcrest believed that state-of-the-art irrigation infrastructure and technologies could make “Goldcrest Farms” the premier farming operation in the country.
“We have seen unprecedented weather volatility across the world in recent years, with extremes at both ends of the spectrum, even on a localized basis,” explains Edward Hargroves, Co-Founder and Partner at Goldcrest Farm Trust Advisors. “It’s important for us to deliver a system that de-risks the farming process and best positions our tenant operators to effectively manage their irrigation practices and costs.”
Designing and Installing the Infrastructure
Preparing to irrigate such a large area required a lot of planning, engineering and design. “Engaging Valley® Irrigation was the most attractive option for us,” says Tommy Funk, Partner at Goldcrest Farm Trust Advisors. “We had worked with one of their dealers on developing a smaller farm, so we had a sense of what to expect, but we had never undertaken a project on this scale before. The Valley team took an idea and created the design to make it work. It’s been a constant evolution as we have navigated how best to optimize water management.”
Goldcrest placed seven Valley pivots on the north farm, and then blanketed the larger 17,000-acre south farm with 47 Valley pivots. Additionally, Valley integrated soil moisture monitors to help with water level management, providing detailed and precise data to help operators engage in water-saving practices while keeping plants healthy.
“We brought together experts from several of our divisions, including water management, science and engineering, and project management to provide a successful implementation,” stated Kenneth Bracht, Vice President North American Commercial Development for Valley Irrigation.
“Our goal is seamless engineering while staying true to the ag nature of the project,” says Tyler Fields, Director of Water Delivery for Valley. “Designing for agricultural projects has its own set of criteria and processes that Valley Engineering and Sciences can bring to the table. We had the resources to bring it together, and the Goldcrest team could call anyone involved if they had questions.”
Conserving Resources and Saving Tenants’ Time and Money
“The farm has been designed beautifully and we’re able to recapture and reuse much of the water that we pump,” says Funk. “We’re also able to capture rainwater so our pumping costs are very low compared to other areas of the country.”
Every Valley pivot on the farm is equipped with Low Elevation Spray Application (LESA) systems to reduce evaporation rates while supplying crops the exact amount of the water they need. Four growers are now leasing the land, taking advantage of its state-of-the-art irrigation and technology.
Each pivot is equipped with an ICON5 smart panel, and the growers can control many of their pumps and all their pivots through Valley 365, reducing labor costs and saving time. This kind of sustainability is a crucial objective for Goldcrest Farms and its investors.
Hargroves explains, “Sustainability and prudent water management is central to all our investments. Not only is it the right thing to do from an ecological standpoint, but it makes the most business sense. If we can deliver additional cost savings to the operator, they win. If the operator wins, we win.”
To download images from the project, please visit: Valley Irrigation and Goldcrest Farms Marketing Assets
About Valley Irrigation
Valley® Irrigation, a Valmont® company, has been the leader in advancing agricultural productivity, from the first center pivots in 1954 to the precision ag technology of today. Decades of thought leadership and technological innovation have helped growers increase food production and conservation of natural resources around the world. Valmont is a global leader in creating vital infrastructure and advancing agricultural productivity to improve life. Learn more about Valley Irrigation at valleyirrigation.com and Valmont at valmont.com.
About Goldcrest Farm Trust
Goldcrest Farm Trust is a privately held real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns high quality farmland across the United States. The REIT launched in 2015 and has since acquired and improved over 95,000 acres across the United States. The REIT is managed by Goldcrest Farm Trust Advisors (GFTA), which has a seasoned management team with a successful track record investing in farmland, as well as prominent careers at leading investment firms, including Duquesne Capital Management, SAC Capital Advisors, and Goldman Sachs. GFTA’s management includes the former founders of AgCoA, a private farmland REIT that was sold to CPPIB in 2013. GFTA has a unique approach to investing, combining proprietary macro research with on-the-ground knowledge of local markets.