SIS Data Collection

Soil Information System

SIS gives growers the tools they need to optimise growing conditions and improve overall crop output and quality.

Plant materials within a field may be uniform, but the soils in which those crops are to grow are not.  With SIS, growers can assess the variability within each field and treat different zones according to their unique needs, thereby raising outputs and quality to the highest grade achievable throughout the field.

Trimble’s Soil Information System is a new leap forward in understanding paddock and yield variability, this system uses multiple technologies to create accurate and reliable 3D information from 0-1200mm.

SiS creates a 3D soil database of paddock soil for over 60 physical and chemical characteristics from which actionable diagnostic reports are extracted, this information creates the capacity for more precise farming.

The SiS system involves 5 steps

Step 1
Define a paddock boundary using the RTK GPS that is fitted to the vehicle, and this GPS data is fed into the on-board computer that is running the SiS software called Data Analysis Acquisition Software (DAAS) this software ties all the mapping processes together. This software is designed to calculate optimal locations for collecting data, to assisting in paddock navigation to defined locations on the display, and for transferring information for post processing.

Step 2
This involves the use of the surfer to fill in the detail within the paddock boundary defined in step one. The surfer collects variability information using the electro-magnetic sensor in the sled, and its corresponding GPS position. In conjunction with EM data collection, the software is collating digital elevation modelling information, which is being collected approximately every metre. A topographical map is produced from this digital elevation model information, and is used as a tool to help with irrigation / drainage planning. The EM data is collected to give the SiS a better understanding of bulk soil variability patterns. This DEM and EM data provide input for SiS intelligent targeting algorithms this information is used for the next step in the process.

Step 3
Soil characterisation (Diver) this is the investigation of exactly what it is, that is causing the soil variability, and this is achieved by using a probe with a number of different sensors. The locations for the diver is calculated from the variability that has been identified from the surfer operation, and are displayed, on the on-board computer. These points are driven to and the display identifies when the correct location is reached, the vehicle is anchored to ensure that all measurements are repeatable. The geophysical probe is pushed into the ground to collect continuous data streams from the sensors, tip force, sleeve resistance, moisture, and electrical resistance, this data is displayed in real time, on the on-board monitor and is stored in the on-board computer.

Step 4
Soil Characterisation, all previous data collected is used for this process, the software uses information from the surfer and diver process to calculate where the optimal locations for chemical property core collection will be. This is done to maximise 3D spatial representation for chemical property analysis.

Step 5
All of this information is processed using algorithms and data bases to interpret the data and create three dimensional maps. These three dimensional maps provide the most accurate soil information to make decisions, for example plant available water can be used to help design irrigation layout, moisture sensor targeting, irrigation scheduling.

SiS will give you a real picture of the factors influencing your paddock variability, and give farmers and advisors the confidence needed to manage portions of paddocks within paddocks to maximise yield potential, and to minimise input costs. SiS can also be used if you are buying new land and want to be certain of the lands potential and or possible issues. Are developing a paddock and want to track improvements, for example farming practice changes, or monitoring areas that previously had below average yield. Reducing inputs ie; managing inputs according to field potential, there may be a constraint that is unable to be rectified, SiS identifies these areas and allows them to be farmed accordingly.

SiS is a valuable tool to understand your paddock variability that could be any of these, Plant Available Water, Salt Concentration levels, Hardpan Depth and Severity, Root Zone Depth, Clay Percentage, Nutrient Holding Capacity, Compaction Levels and many more.

For more general information about this click here