Soil sampling goes all hi-tech

Soil sampling goes all hi-tech

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TOP TECH: Cropping farmer Richard Johnstone and Vantage NEA precision agronomist, Bryan Granshaw, using the Soil Information Service (SiS) which uses multiple technologies to declare where to look for soil issues.

TOP TECH: Cropping farmer Richard Johnstone and Vantage NEA precision agronomist, Bryan Granshaw, using the Soil Information Service (SiS) which uses multiple technologies to declare where to look for soil issues.

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PA workshop attendees will hear about Trimble Agriculture’s cutting-edge technology, the Soil Information Service (SiS).

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A MORE precise alternative to common soil testing methods will be front and centre at the Society of Precision Agriculture’s (SPAA) workshop on Friday, September 7 in Ingham.

Vantage NEA precision agronomist, Bryan Granshaw, Ayr, has joined a great line-up of speakers to talk about Trimble Agriculture’s cutting-edge technology, the Soil Information Service (SiS).

The mobile service is unlike any other soil testing method on the market as it uses multiple technologies and intelligent targeting algorithms to declare where to look for soil issues.

SiS collects data on soil’s physical and chemical attributes to a depth of 1200mm.

If they’re giving the soil what it needs, they’ll produce better, more consistent crops. - Bryan Granshaw

Using electromagnetic induction sensing and taking into account the topography of the soil, SiS is able to determine locations within a field that are different to the rest of the field’s soil.

“These points are then further investigated with a unique Soil Probe. The soil is collected and sent to a chemistry lab to be surveyed,” Mr Granshaw said.

Once the extensive data has been collected, detailed soil maps are developed, and producers are able to develop strategies to amend soil issues.

“SiS establishes exactly where in a paddock there’s issues, what’s causing the issues and provides the ability to produce actionable, zonal management plans,” Mr Granshaw said.

The uptake of SiS in northern Qld has been strong, with both cropping producers and graziers using the system to improve their productions.

Mr Granshaw said the value in SiS for cropping producers is being able to use the soil maps developed by the system to develop treatment prescription plans for variable rate application.

“The maps help them make better input decisions and shows them zones in their paddocks that need to be treated differently to improve their bottom line. If they’re giving the soil what it needs, they’ll produce better, more consistent crops,” he said. 

Mr Granshaw said SiS has helped graziers understand their soil’s environment and what could be prohibiting pasture growth such as PH levels, depth to root restriction and soil water holding capacity. This information helps producers make more informed management decisions to improve ground cover and pasture growth.

“SiS can help them understand what will grow well in their soils and what won’t.”

The story Soil sampling goes all hi-tech first appeared on North Queensland Register.

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