Vantage Agrometius sent its Veris iScan on a demonstration tour, visiting 13 locations in the Netherlands. Contractors and arable farmers were able to have a look at the newest scanning technologies, and learned about all the ins and outs.
The iScan is a soil scanner, that can be mounted on agricultural equipment such as a cultivator, a seeder or even a potato planter.
A mounting unit consists of a coulter, using 2 discs that cut through the soil. An electric current runs through 1 of these discs. The compound of the soil determines the conduction of the current, in other words: how much current travels from 1 disc to the other. Soil that contains a lot of clay will conduct current better, sandy soil however will conduct current poorly.
Sensor measures organic matter
Apart from the wheels a NIR-sensor is also guided through the soil, in order to measure the percentage of organic matter. On top sits a communication box (which only requires a 12 Volt connection) that collects all data en forwards these to a tablet in the cabin of the tractor, using Bluetooth. The tablet then stores the data, together with the corresponding GPS coordinates.
Text continues underneath images
Rietema Agro in the Netherlands hosted the demonstration of the Veris iScan, for this occasion mounted on a Kuhn cultivator. - Photos: Anne van der Woude
De scanning unit is mounted in such a way that it can be transferred to a different piece of equipment very quickly.
Analysis of these data later on will provide all sorts of information on disrupting elements in the soil, and give a spot-wise indication of the productivity of the soil. Using that information, the contractor or farmer can optimise his fertilisation, crop protection or he can vary in sowing density, in order to let the crops develop evenly.
Text continues underneath video
Save fuel and time using Veris iScan
The big advantage in using the Veris iScan lies in the fact that the scanning can be done whilst working the soil. That saves fuel, man hours, it limits the damage that is done to the soil, and it saves time. Especially when you take into consideration that there is a limited window to perform scans, which opens right after harvest. And during that short time window everybody wants to have a scan done.
One last advantage: the scanner is mounted on the equipment using a quick change part. Using a fork lift it can be transferred to a different piece of equipment within 5 minutes.
Vantage Agrometius does not expect that the lower cost price (€ 75 – € 100 per hectare less than Vantage Agrometius’ scanning service) will lead farmers to scan their soil much more often. Historical disruptions in the soil are after alle more or less permanent, and the amount of organic matter present also doesn’t change instantly.
Text continues underneath images
An electric current runs through one of the 2 discs.The way the current is conducted throught the soil, says a lot about the composition of the soil. - Photo: Vantage Agrometius
Ton Wilgers of Vantage Agrometius explains how the sensors work.
A first profit lies in the possibility to divide a field that has different soil characteristics into for instance 3 different sections, with a different, optimised soil management for each section.
Another application lies in renting out grassland for growing potatoes, for instance. Using a scan that provides insight into how much organic matter the soil contains, becomes profitable much sooner.
In total the iScan (with scanner, all mounting materials, tablet-pc and software) costs around € 25.000.