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Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln news release

An impressive 137-foot pivot irrigation span will be the centerpiece of the Nebraska Agriculture Experience exhibit at the Nebraska State Fair, thanks to a presenting sponsorship from Reinke Manufacturing Company.

Officials at the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have announced that Reinke Manufacturing Company of Deshler, Nebraska, will be the presenting sponsor of the irrigation portion of the 25,000-square-foot agricultural exhibit in the new Nebraska Building on the grounds of the Nebraska State Fair.

In addition to generous underwriting support for the Nebraska Agriculture Experience, Reinke has also donated a full-scale pivot irrigation unit along with the engineering and expertise to help create a unique interactive "variable rate irrigation" experience for visitors.

Variable rate irrigation is a new technology that is allowing farmers to improve yield by managing water more efficiently. Using data gathered through satellites and other means, farmers are able to control the water flow from each sprinkler head along the pivot span as it moves around the field-improving water efficiency and managing the amount of water applied to the crop.

Visitors to the Nebraska Agriculture Experience will be able to virtually program the operation of the Reinke pivot by selecting from a range of data including soil moisture maps, topography, soil type and yield maps. A series of fiber optic lights on each sprinkler along the pivot span will respond according to the program the visitor has selected, illustrating how the various sprinklers along the span are turned on and off to match the actual water requirements of the crop.

"We are extremely excited to be a part of this educational exhibit," said Chris Roth, president of Reinke. "The Nebraska Agriculture Experience will be an excellent educational tool in communicating the importance of mechanized irrigation in water conservation, improved food production and sustaining agricultural growth."

Dr. Stephen Bateman, director of electrical engineering for Reinke, added, "The Reinke mechanized irrigation exhibit at the Nebraska Agriculture Experience will be designed to be a hands-on, interactive, educational experience for visitors. Imparting the knowledge of how these systems work, the technology that is involved and how these systems benefit growers world-wide, is our goal."

"We are very grateful to Reinke for their leadership in providing a presenting sponsorship at the Nebraska Agriculture Experience," said Dr. Charles Hibberd, dean of extension at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"From the very beginning of this project, we knew we wanted a pivot irrigation span to be one of the key visual and educational components-and Reinke has stepped up big time to make it happen. This will be a huge 'wow' factor as visitors will have the opportunity to get up close to incredible technology they typically only see from the highway."

The Nebraska Agriculture Experience is a 25,000 square foot interactive experience focused on where Nebraska agriculture is today and where it's headed. The exhibit will provide a comprehensive look at agriculture and food production in the state and how Nebraska is positioned for global leadership in feeding the world.

While the Nebraska Agriculture Experience will debut in the new Nebraska Building at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair, it will be available throughout the year by appointment for school groups, trade teams, and other visitors by appointment. A full-time UNL extension educator will be on-site year-round to manage the exhibit and work with visiting groups.

The Nebraska Agriculture Experience is a collaborative effort between the Nebraska State Fair, which is providing the building; the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the state's commodity groups; and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), which is developing and managing the 25,000 square foot educational experience area.

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