Wilbur-Ellis agribusiness acquires Probe Schedule

Wilbur-Ellis Company, a recognized leader in precision agriculture, crop protection, seed and nutritional products.

Water management and sustainability will continue to be a focus for growers and consumers today and in the future. Proper irrigation in the agriculture industry and the use of water is critical for growers to maximise their crop production and consume water efficiently. Today, Wilbur-Ellis Company LLC announced its acquisition of the assets of Probe Schedule, LLC to provide its customers with one of the most technologically innovative irrigation water management systems in the world.

Probe Schedule is a leading irrigation management company backed by 24 years of continual research and development efforts. Its irrigation water management (IWM) software receives and collects data from in-field hardware devices and weather stations to calculate accurate crop water usage and soil moisture, providing growers with specialised irrigation schedules. With Probe Schedule now part of its customer offer, Wilbur-Ellis brings quality IWM field data directly to growers, adding value to their operation, helping to improve productivity and positively benefiting their business.

“Over the last two decades, Probe Schedule has evolved into the robust, integrated water management platform it is today,” said Jacob le Roux, Probe Schedule founder and CEO, who will join Wilbur-Ellis and take on a new role as the company’s national irrigation water advisor. “With the support of Wilbur-Ellis, new functionality, improved and enhanced technology and future updates will continue for the benefit of the ag industry.”

The Probe Schedule software is accessed by growers via any smart device to accurately track soil moisture status and calculate irrigation schedules by incorporating real-time weather station data, forecasts, spray conditions, soil classification, crop specific information, flow meter data and other irrigation data. With Probe Schedule, customers have access to user-friendly, valuable graphs, maps and reports that help interpret that information and make recommendations. Variable speed irrigation plans, remote valve controls and sensor alarms can also be utilised.

“We are committed to sustainable practices when it comes to water management, and this acquisition will help us support customers with more accurate water monitoring for optimal use of such an important resource,” said Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness President Mark Ripato.

“This tool helps ensure efficient use of crop management and nutrition products to improve not just the quality of the crop, but also a grower’s time management, costs and profitability.”

The improvement in moisture management can lead to actionable results. For example, it can help Honeycrisp apple growers increase the amount of product they bring to market by preventing bitter pit. It can pinpoint the exact amount of water that potatoes need to thrive, yet prevent common fungal problems. It can help grapes and cotton develop at just the right rate.

“By allowing growers to easily receive information that prompts them to irrigate just enough, but not too much, they are able to maximise crop quality and fertility, while efficiently using their water supply as effectively as possible,” said Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness Technical Agronomist Devesh Singh.

“Probe Schedule is a perfect complement to our current nutrient management solutions and water management services,” added Ryan Klaveano, vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re continually looking for ways to provide our retail locations and growers with products, tools and services that help them be more successful. We’re excited to offer customers this powerful, scientifically-based tool for their operations that we’re certain will provide a positive impact for their crops and business.”

Headquartered in Washington state, Probe Schedule serves customers around the world with a very strong presence in the Western U.S. and planned expansion to the east. It will continue to operate as an independent brand within Wilbur-Ellis and be available to current and future customers.