Smart Soil Scanning
'Know your field, grow your yield'
Farm Image are now offering the latest technology in high definition soil scanning, providing powerful insight and mapping of your yield and profit influencing field properties to ensure every hectare reaches its full potential.
At Farm Image, we believe a profitable precision farming program is based on an accurate understanding of the soil.
Soil texture- the amount of sand, silt and clay is a major driver, along with soil organic matter and field topography. Soil pH, especially if it’s outside the optimal range for the crop, will play a big role in nutrient availability.
To manage crop inputs precisely, these properties must be mapped precisely. Grid sampling, unless carried out on a ¼ acre scale, doesn’t come close to the precision needed or what modern planting and fertilizing equipment can achieve. In order to make the most of every hectare, drive yields and profit as well as make huge savings on input costs, the only answer is SoilSmart’s on-the-go field sensing.
Soil pH has a significant impact on nutrient availability, microbial activity, nematode populations, soil herbicide efficacy and much more.
The pH of a soil is a measure of the acidity or concentration of hydrogen ions in the soil solution. Many chemical and biological processes in the soil are affected by pH, and maintaining pH in the proper range will maximize the efficiency of other crop inputs and decrease the risk of yield losses.
The diagram below displays the variability of pH levels within a single hectare grid highlighting the importance of intensive sampling in order to apply lime and other fertilisers precisely and to avoid costly errors.
Organic matter in soil is essential for soil structure, water holding properties, microbial activity and soil health. By adding organic matter to soil, its productivity increases as well as many other benefits:
Reduced need for inorganic fertilisers
Reduced nutrient leaching
Increased yielding potential
Better soil structure leading to greater workability of soil and increased traffic tolerance
Improved water holding in light soils
Reduces the risk of erosion
Beneficial soil mircroorganisms aid soil aggregation, nutrient recycling and plant disease suppression
The Smart Scanner maps OM using infrared optics measuring below the soil surface to ensure accurate readings. Precise OM maps can be used for directed manure applications, variable seeding, improved nitrogen management, variable irrigation, site-specific Gypsum and more.
Soil Texture (EC)
Smart Scanning maps soil texture using electrical conductivity (EC) to show the amount of sand, silt and clay present. Soil texture directly relates to water holding capacity, nitrogen use and loss and is the primary driver of productivity.
How can the Smart Scanner's soil texture maps be used?
Some of the many ways in which an accurate soil texture map may be used include: unique environment zone sampling, variable seeding, improved nitrogen management, variable irrigation, variable soil herbicides, salinity remediation, site-specific gypsum and other amendment applications, yield and crop interpretation and more.
Topography is mapped using elevation data from GPS technology, highlighting its effect on water infiltration, drainage, nitrogen and soil loss. SoilSmart processes the raw data into useful slope and curvature maps that can be used for more intelligent variable rate applications.
SoilSmart topography maps explained:
Positive- these bowl-shaped areas of the field are depressional and are more likely to collect and hold water.
Negative- these knoll-shaped areas of the field are more likely to shed water and mobile nutrients.