It was 22 years ago that Veris Technologies launched its sensor designed to measure key soil properties. The electrical conductivity sensor can capture information about the soil depth and water-holding capacity for soil. This has become an important data layer for many farms aiming to maximize their crop programs.
For 2019, Veris is taking that technology and mating it to other sensors to launch iScan, a real-time sensing system for tillage and planting. Eric Lund, president and founder of Veris Technologies, says the EC sensor system is widely used by retailers, but producers are looking for more information.
“Farmers want to know how to set their tools to do optimum tillage and optimum planting,” Lund says, “and seedbed preparation matters.”
The rise of faster planters is putting more pressure on the quality of seedbed preparation, but how do you know what kind of job you’re doing in real time? That’s where iScan comes in. It’s a suite of four main sensors attached to a planter or tillage rig that can help make the process more precise.
The planter row unit shown with this story is outfitted with the four sensors in the iScan system, capturing soil moisture, soil temperature, EC and organic matter during every pass.
The soil moisture and temperature sensor can be used at tillage or planting to maximize tillage and planting. Knowing soil temperature and moisture content during the tillage pass can help farmers better manage the process.
Tillage and planting
The soil moisture and temperature sensors can be attached to a tillage rig for optimizing depth for seedbed prep. The same sensors can be moved to a planter for use in setting planter depth, too.
Lund acknowledges that EC and organic matter are not measurements you need to take every year, but they do provide key information for managing farm soil more accurately: “But we know that farmers add ground to work, often every year, so having this information available is something many want.”
With the EC meter, you’re measuring cation exchange capacity in the soil. This EC meter captures CEC and texture readings that provide key information about soil properties on the farm. This information, texture and moisture-holding capacity can help you determine soil quality.
Organic matter information is becoming more important as farmers work to return that material to the soil. Cover crops and use of animal manure mean the organic matter levels could be changing, and with iScan, you can capture that information.
“With these real-time sensors, you can do optimum tillage and optimum planting,” Lund says.,
The cost for the sensor package is $17,000 for all four. One set of sensors is all that’s needed since they can be moved from tillage to planting equipment. Learn more at veristech.com.