Thus far, 2012 has been the hottest year ever recorded in the U.S., and the heat has sapped the production of key crops used to feed livestock. As a result, the government has declared a staggering one-third of the nation’s counties federal disaster areas.
The majority of crop losses occur on farms that rely solely on rainwater. Many farmers and ranchers, however, are surviving the drought thanks to several important Grundfos products.
The SQFlex solar product, for example, is incredibly popular in Texas and New Mexico. Indeed, Grundfos’ partner in Amarillo, Texas is the national sales leader for the SQFlex. Trevor Lain is Grundfos’ district sales manager for Groundwater in the South and West.
- Slowly but surely, I see more and more solar panels replacing the old Western windmill technology, he says.
Sun-powered pumps get the job done
In a state where sun is plentiful and water is scarce, it isn’t difficult to understand why the SQFlex is well valued. It is an environmentally friendly water supply solution fitted with a permanent magnet motor that enable the efficient use of energy from nature. The SQFlex is perfect for water-scarce areas with unreliable energy supply. It features solar panels and wind turbines that adapt to the weather patterns of any area.
- In times of drought as severe as the one we are experiencing this year, existing surface water supplies dry up and disappear, says Alan Bixler, Water Systems product specialist at Grundfos North America.
- Small stream creeks and farm ponds – widely used to support livestock grazing – are no longer available sources of water, he adds.
Farmers and ranchers are forced to move their livestock to overgrazed pastures or reduce the size of their herds, Alan Bixler explains.
Great for remote areas
In many cases, grid power sources are unavailable near these pastures because the cost to get energy in remote areas is extremely expensive. That’s what makes the SQFlex such a good solution.
- If a well can be drilled in or near the pasture, a SQFlex system can be installed, instantly supplying water without the help of a utility company. This allows the farmer to better manage the use of his pasture to reduce or alleviate overgrazing and support his livestock. Since the SQFlex uses solar panels as an energy source, there is no ongoing cost for energy after the initial investment, Alan Bixler says.
Texas is typically among the driest states in the nation. Last year, 97 percent of the state was in extreme or exceptional drought conditions – and this year is worse.
Yet even elsewhere in the country, many other Grundfos products are easing farmers’ struggles against the heat and drought. These products include the CRFlex, the MP1, Peerless’ vertical turbine pumps, and submersible pumps.