Home Wine Business Editorial Sponsored Content Take Control: Farm Management Simplified with HotSpot AG

Take Control: Farm Management Simplified with HotSpot AG


HotSpot AG understands the importance of applying the right amount of water to the right spot in the field at the right time. Owner James Nichols has experienced the challenges farmers face in their everyday tasks and found a solution that makes it easier than ever to manage, track and schedule from anywhere. 

When Nichols returned home to his family’s farm after graduating from UC Davis, they tasked him with implementing a water budget for irrigating their thousands of acres of almonds and pistachios. Dissatisfied with the AgTech products for automating irrigation then available, he designed his own. After testing it in their orchards for five years, the family suggested Nichols start his own business. In 2018, James Nichols founded HotSpot AG to help other farmers overcome these challenges and streamline their workflow.

Nichols’s solution harnesses sensor data to automate irrigation schedules. However, for the HotSpot team, it goes beyond collecting data; it’s about tailoring the software to meet each farmer’s distinct operational requirements. As Steven Soares, Senior Customer Success Manager at HotSpot AG, puts it, “We excel in complete automation. What sets us apart is our commitment to going beyond sensor data on water, soil and weather. We deliver a scheduling tool made to fit their fields.” 

An account manager and engineering team first visit the vineyard to evaluate the irrigation system and hardware already in place. They then work closely with the client to customize HotSpot to operate with the system, including installing any hardware needed to communicate with HotSpot.

“Our software is a blank slate for every new customer,” Soares emphasizes. “We teach them how to interpret the sensor data so they can create their own schedules in the software.” Another benefit is that HotSpot AG stores sensor data securely on controllers in the field. Local storage lets winegrape growers use their computers or mobile devices to access the data in real-time via a web interface, which prevents sometimes unreliable cloud-based storage.

The HotSpot AG team’s farming backgrounds drive their commitment to assisting fellow growers. This focus goes beyond the field to include helping them navigate new California State regulations on water and fertility management and rising energy costs. The team stays focused on building relationships with growers and listening to their problems. Soares says, “We take what growers tell us about their difficulties and try to come up with innovations to ease them.” 

To learn more about HotSpot AG, visit them at Booth #813 at the 11th Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo) on November 30th, in Santa Rosa, CA, wineindustryexpo.com.

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North Coast Wine Industry Expo – WIN Expo – at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, CA on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

Full list of exhibitors | Register to attend



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