Soil testing system wins innovation award

By: Tom Dickson, Video by: Tom Dickson

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A portable soil testing system which allows farmers to quickly and efficiently analyse nitrogen levels in their field has taken out the Agribusiness Innovation of the Year Award at the recent Wimmera Machinery Field Days.

Soil testing system wins innovation award
(L to R) Spot On Ag director Steve Lanyon and sales rep Matthew Schubring posing with the Agribusiness Innovation of the Year Award at the 2016 Wimmera Machinery Field Days

Watch the video above in which Spot On Ag director Steve Lanyon explains how the 360 Soilscan works.

The 360 Soilscan is manufactured by American based company 360 Yieldcentre and is distributed in Australia by Spot On Ag.

According to the company, the innovative system returns accurate readings within five minutes hence allowing farmers to respond instantly to maintain optimum crop health and maximise crop return.

The lightweight piece of equipment comes in a sturdy carry case to protect it from the elements and can be used in the field with a tablet or set up in an office.

Its portability allows it to be shared amongst neighbouring farms to reduce initial outlay. It operates on both 12 and 240 volt power supplies.

Operating and reading the equipment is a simple five step process:

  1. Select soil samples that best represent the average of the paddock.
  2. Using the scoop provided, place two scoops of soil into a standard Dixie cup and place in the mixing station.
  3. Start the machine. The 360 Soilscan blends distilled water with the soil sample to create a slurry suitable for nitrogen detection.
  4. Information from the nitrate sensor is analysed by a computer or tablet for immediate read out.
  5. Use the results to accurately manage nitrogen levels in your field for optimum crop yield.

The 360 Soilscan’s computer program allows the user to store all information relevant to the test including date of test, location and crop type.

Spot On Ag director Steve Lanyon accepted the award on behalf of the company at the annual Wimmera Machinery Field Days, which wrapped up yesterday.

Lanyon says the company has sold about 30 units since it was appointed the distributor of the system in September 2015.

"So far sales have been divided about fifty-fifty between farmers and agronomists," he says.

Lanyon adds units are now available for purchase and can be supplied within 10 working days.

The entire unit, which includes the nitrate sensor but excludes the iPad is priced at $6200 plus GST. An optional pH sensor can be purchased for $1500 plus GST.  

The 2016 Wimmera Machinery field days was held from March 1 to 3. 

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