A huge amount of field productivity variation is tied to what lies beneath. Underlying soil type, quality, health, and nutrient levels all play a role in what each acre can produce. Across even just one, acre, however, you may have two or more different soil types, varied organic matter levels and significant pH swings.
Tyler Lund, of Veris Technologies, says that his company has been developing soil-mapping sensors since the late 90s, starting with electrical conductivity sensors.
In this interview, filmed at the 2016 Farm Progress Show at Boone, Iowa, Lund and Kelvin Heppner discuss the ins and outs of the latest offering of sensors from Veris — including soil organic matter percentages, pH levels, and more — and why measuring each parameter matters.
“For every percent organic matter, soil will provide 20 to 30 units of nitrogen,” says Lund. That can change fertilizer requirements significantly. What’s more, the Veris can map pH changes every 20 metres, leading to precise lime-application maps.
The optimal timing for mapping is rapidly approaching, Lund says, as fall is a great time to map, right behind the combine. “You can also map into growing winter wheat with minimal yield loss, which widens the window” for getting the job done. More below.