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    How Wente is Pumping at Off-Peak Times, Easing Labor Challenges, and Irrigating with Precision

    Wente Vineyards uses Lumo's irrigation automation technology in their Ernest Ranch Vineyard
    by Steele Roddick

    In the past at Wente Vineyards, irrigators have turned valves on before leaving for the night, and then turned them back off when they returned in the morning. It’s convenient, but the downside has been that this means their pumps tend to run during the hours with the highest electricity rates, typically between 4-9 PM. 

    This coming season, Wente is deploying Lumo One smart valves across 100 acres at their Ernest ranch in an effort to shift their irrigation runs to automatically start later in the evening, after the peak-rate window. Being able to delay their irrigation runs by five or six hours should alone produce a significant cost saving on their energy bill.

    But after working with Lumo this past season, Hannah Lindner, the Viticulture Manager at Wente Vineyards, is excited about moving forward for a few different reasons and believes Lumo will play a part in helping her solve a number of key challenges that she’s currently facing. 

    One is making sure her team’s hours are put to the best and highest use. 

    “There’s not a lot of labor in Livermore. It’s a bit of a commute, so it’s often hard to get people here. Plus, there is often competition with other commodities or locations that require less drive time. We need to automate as much as we can to better utilize our people.”

    A second is getting data that actually translates to better decision making. 

    “So much of the time we get wrapped up in the availability of data, but much of the time it’s too much or it’s not actionable. The valve-level data we get from Lumo, on the other hand, we can actually use. We can shut a valve off or re-irrigate if the flow rate was too low.“

    A third is increasing visibility into their actual water application and flagging hard-to-spot flow rate issues.  

    “Wente shares water with neighbors throughout the valley, so sometimes we lose pressure and have no idea. With the flow meters in Lumo’s valves, we get more data than we’ve previously had and it’s more accurate. We no longer have irrigators going through the clunky process of entering stop and start times into spreadsheets.”

    A fourth is finding a tech partner that takes a collaborative approach and is open to feedback. 

    “We’ve had a great partnership with Lumo right from the start because Devon and the team took the time to understand the problems we have. It wasn’t ‘Hey, here's this product.’ It was, ‘What are your biggest pain points and let's work together to fix them.’

    “There’s been great teamwork between Lumo and Wente. Whenever we’ve had issues or concerns, the team has always been open to feedback and has always been willing to dive in and come back with solutions.” 

    Fifth and finally, a need and desire to irrigate with greater precision and better manage their water resources.

    “We want to be more strategic with our water use in general, but we need greater capabilities to do that. Lumo gives us lots of insight and control we didn’t have previously. 

    Sustainability is a core value at Wente, and something we continue to improve upon year after year. Being more precise with our water use is a big part of that.”

    To learn more about how to irrigate off-peak, with fewer labor hours and greater precision, request a demo here or email [email protected]

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