Valmont Marks 50th Anniversary

Published online: Aug 31, 2004
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From a humble beginning, Valmont, makers of the Valley center pivot, has developed into a worldwide leader in sprinkler irrigation, celebrating its 50th anniversary last week.

Valmont founder Robert B. Daugherty said Valmont bought Frank Zybach's patent of the first pivot. In 1948, Zybach, a part-time farmer, developed his first pivot for Ernest E. Englebrecht of Strasburg, CO. He irrigated 40 acres of alfalfa with the pivot for the next 20 years.

"Purchasing the center pivot patent from Zybach was the easy part," said Mogens Bay, CEO of Valmont Industries. "The hard part was creating a product that could consistently deliver for farmers."

Of those early days, Bay recalls Daugherty telling him how he liked to demonstrate the Valley pivot for farmers toward the end of the growing season. Technicians could hide in the tall corn to service pivots during exhibitions, keeping them running.

Valley is proud of the impact it has had on irrigation throughout the world. "The contributions our company has made to irrigation technology have literally changed the face of the earth," he added.

Speaking to guests at the anniversary party, Bay said, "We're proud of the impact we've been able to have on agricultural propduction around the world." Valmont has more than half of the U.S. pivot market share.

Today Valmont is centering its offerings on water conservation. The company continues to develop pivots and linear systems that utilize Low Energy Precision Application technologies. Today computerized pivot panels enable farmers to accomplish a full range of irrigation, chemigation and fertilization functions. Multiple pivots can be controlled with a combination cell phone PDA.

Today Valmont's motto for water conservation and irrigation efficiency is "More crop per drop."