Farming Smarter E-News

Help Us Grow!

Take the membership pledge.
Exclusive Benefits come with membership.

In-season soil conductivity mapping

Farming Smarter Project

Project Timeline: 2019-2020

Contact: Lewis Baarda

Abstract

Farmers rely on information sources to direct crop input decisions, however, many fail to account for the soil’s characteristics and the variability of the weather. Once the seeding is complete, farmers have few options to measure the real-time changes in crop input demands and spatial patterns in the field.

This project is evaluating the use of the EM38 soil conductivity sensor as a real-time soil moisture mapping tool. While static crop yield projections are based only on pre-season information which is often ineffective, real-time data collected in-season could allow farmers to use a near real-time efficiency of crop production inputs such as water and nitrogen fertilizer.

 

Objectives

  • Measure real-time soil parameters and detect changes using in-season soil EC surveys

  • Improve yield projection accuracy using in-season soil EC data

  • Evaluate potential to manage water inputs using real-time EC data using a proof of concept on-farm trial

  • Evaluate potential to manage dryland nitrogen fertilizer inputs using real-time EC data using a proof of concept on-farm trial

  • Measure GHG emission risks

Method

Locations: Lethbridge, AB

This study uses a field-scale precision agriculture approach including two 160-acre fields for two years each. One field will be under irrigation and the other will be a dryland location. The irrigation site will evaluate the use of in-season data for water management while the dryland site will evaluate data for nitrogen management. Year one, the project will evaluate the uses and efficacy of in-season EC data. Year two, the project will test the application of this data for crop input management.

Results

This project is currently in progress. As we move forward, we’ll update you with some more information! 

Thank you! 

Recommendations

Check back in winter 2020 for this section.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons