Customer Spotlight: Wylie Thulen and Pioneer Potatoes Use FarmHQ to Remove the “What-Ifs” of Irrigating High-Value Crops with Hard-Hose Reels

Wylie Thulen’s family has been farming potatoes in Washington State’s Skagit Valley since the early 1900s.

Today, Wylie is an owner and operator of Pioneer Potatoes, which farms approximately 1,000 acres each season of potatoes, as well as barley, beets, cabbage seed, and brussel sprouts.

For decades, Wylie and his family have been frustrated by the lack of remote monitoring and control for their reels.

“Even with new equipment, there’s no way to do anything from your phone. There are always ‘what-ifs.’ We wanted a better way to track what’s happening and where things are.”

For Wylie, FarmHQ provided the kind of solution they had been seeking for their farm’s operations.

“I liked the idea of locational tracking, the safety measure of automatic pump shutdown, and being notified when something has gone wrong.”

A FarmHQ user since the 2020 irrigation season, Wylie describes installing and using the system as “pretty squeaky clean. I’m happy with how it’s worked – it’s as advertised.”

Wylie cites a situation during the hot 2021 irrigation season when the hose for one of his reels got kinked and formed a bubble, which slowed the turbine-driven reel down. FarmHQ quickly and automatically sent Wylie a text that there was an issue.

In a separate situation, two of his pumps were having problems with their fuel sensors, and kept shutting down the reel, so FarmHQ notified Wylie his reel had stopped.

“So instead of wasting three hours of thinking it was going,” Wylie says, “we were able to send someone out there and fix it right away.”

Wylie continues to recommend FarmHQ to other farmers across the region who are looking for a way to monitor and control their reels and pumps in real-time to save money and stress.

Ready to learn more about how FarmHQ could improve your farm’s operations? Contact us here.

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