Alternative method to choose Scout locations 1 – Geocarta

A strict grid method for collecting soil samples or installing soil sensors is a very ineffective approach as it will produce lots of unnecessary data points and a high cost. The most frequently used method for the Soil Scout team in helping farmers choose the most beneficial locations for instrumentation within their fields is to recognize good/average/poor growing spots from infrared satellite image browsers, such as the Sentinel Playground. After all, there is no telling beforehand whether a poorly growing spot is too wet or too dry – but surely it is not optimal.

Today a more hands-on approach to identify soil texture zones was tried out at the Soil Scout trial farm in Ulvila, Finland. A patrol from the Geocarta visited the fields with their on-the-go soil resistivity mapper. Their soil texture mapping philosophy is identical to ours: where to collect productive soil samples for a detailed laboratory analysis is chosen by mapping the apparent resistivity variations and identifying zones, which differ from each other for a fact, but the actual characteristics remain unknown until the soil samples have been analysed.

Once the raw data has been post processed, we will soon find out how the soil texture maps correlate to the observed yield potential differences within the fields, and how well the soil sampling coordinates will correlate to our selection of Soil Scout sensor locations! The mapping is carried out in co-operation with the MIKÄ DATA research program at the Pori university center.