Push Profitability with Precision Soil Sampling

18th October 2020

From this autumn Fane Valley will be offering their new precision soil services. The bespoke service starts with GPS guided soil sampling to ensure accuracy and repeatability of sampling, this data can then be used to develop management zones and plans to drive efficiency on farm. 

Soil analysis is a key starting point to growing healthy high yielding crops and forage. Getting the samples done properly is important to ensure the data you are collecting is correct and valuable. 

The traditional W pattern sampling technique involves taking a sample of soil constituting 20 cores of soil from a field or from a “part field” to give the grower a soil analysis to help make fertiliser decisions from. This technique of sampling has its limitations as it will never identify high or low areas of nutrients within a field, and will only ever give a field average or “part field” average. 

The GPS spot sampling on a grid or zone essentially means that there is a sample taken constituting cores of a soil taken from specific areas within grids or zones in a field. The size of area you want a sample to cover can be adjusted depending on your requirements. The advantage to this over the W pattern technique of sampling is that there is a full soil analysis for each area of the field and that you will be going back to the same area of the field over the years and get more consistent results and trends. The information gathered will allow the Fane Valley technical team to create farm nutrient maps and make variable rate prescription maps for those who want to begin precision farming. The new service can also make use of satellite data to look at crop health imagery to find issues in the crop at critical stages and take data from multiple years to find long term issues in fields. 

Fane Valley will be offering three soil service packages to fit the needs of different farmers in the bronze, silver and gold package alongside the provision of nutrient management plans. 

To find out more about Fane Valley’s soil service packages contact your Agronomy & Forage Technical Specialist or call 028 9261 0485.