New Trimble service provides 3-D soil mapping, analysis

Trimble recently announced a new agronomic service part of its Connected Farm solution. The Soil Information System solution provides farmers and their trusted advisors with in-depth 3-D soil data they can use to make informed decisions about crop production goals.

The SIS data is accessed through Connected Farm and can be used with Trimble’s Farm Works farm management software or other geographic information systems platforms. Connected Farm gives one central location for accessing key information such as rainfall totals, weather forecasts, commodity tracking, planting coverage, yield mapping, fleet management and irrigation monitoring and control. 

The SIS 3-D soil mapping technology uses advanced sensors along with intelligent targeting and geo-processing algorithms to produce high-resolution, accurate soil and topographic information. The SIS solution outputs precise, multi-layer soil models more comprehensive than traditional methods. Some examples of map types include root zone depth, soil texture, plant available water, compaction depth, macro and micro-nutrient levels, soil nutrient holding capacity and salt and toxicity concentrations.

Farmers can use the system to target recommendations on the best locations where soil samples should be taken. In some cases this reduces the number of samples required to provide high-quality information by as much as 60 percent over traditional sampling methods.

"Variability in yield and quality are due primarily to non-uniform soils being managed as uniform soils. In the past, our inability to identify the components of this soil variability prevented us from achieving greater crop uniformity and better economic returns,” said Robert Wample, a plant physiologist and owner of Edgeknoll Consulting, an SIS service provider. “SIS allows us to take a proactive approach to overcoming soil variability, and when combined with geo-referenced variability in crop yield and quality, the effectiveness of this approach is enhanced even more resulting in an ‘agricultural forensics’ approach to precision agriculture.”

The solution is available through authorized Trimble service providers.