Soil Variation Scanning

The entry level soil scan offer from Agrovista

  •       EM soil variation scan
  •       First year VR seed maps
  •       Data interpretation

Soil variation scanning

Soil variation scanning is the entry level soil scan offer from Agrovista, offering some very useful information at a competitive cost.

Service use:

• Variable rate seed
• Slug pellet zones
• Nutrient sampling zones

Soil variation scanning uses one of two types of technology – electromagnetic induction (EM38-MK) or electroconductivity. Both services create the same variation map.
The operator drives up and down the field parallel to tramlines. In a 24mtramline system they will travel at 12m intervals and in a 36m system at 18m, avoiding travelling on tramlines.
Good soil moisture levels are required to capture the best data and each field must be scanned all at once and not across different days.


Electronic data

EM and EC scanning give accurate soil variation


Variance in raw data. This image
clearly illustrates obvious areas of
change. The pink area in this image is
the lightest part of the field and dark
blue is the heaviest area.

Elevation will give a indication of
where nutrients will run off and
where water will flow. The darkest
area is the high land and light area is
the lowest ground.

Variance in contoured soil type data.
The yellow area indicates the lightest
part of the field and the brown area is
the heaviest part.

As a very basic approach we can look
at millisiemens values, which is the
measurement of the conductivity
expressed as mS/m. This is not an
exact science but if the EM scanner is
calibrated well it will provide a rough
indication of soil type (exact data
once ground truthed).

Visual notes

While scanning the operator keeps an eye on field appearance. Are some areas dusty?
Are there cobbles, or is the surface rough? Are there wet spots? Are there colour differences in the stubble?

Farmer and agronomist knowledge

Farmers and agronomists have a wealth of knowledge about their fields. This can provide key information regarding why a soil type behaves as it does.
For example, two identical soil types within a field can yield completely differently.
Those managing the farm may already know why.

Ground Truthing

Obtaining a soil sample from a high and low millisiemens area will provide an exact soil type that provides an accurate indication of soil type across the field. In the example on
page 5 the lightest areas of the field are sandy clay loam and the darkest are clay loam. This data can be used to compare fields across the farm rather than just variation within the field (additional cost).


EM management zones decided:
These zones are created using some or all the following - soil type contour, raw variation data and elevation data.


Raw data variable rate
seed zones

Soil type and grower managed
seed zones

In this case the nutrient
zones have been decided on
millisiemens and elevation

This service is MapIt Pro compatible

Download our Precision Farming Services Brochure click here


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