Monday 13 June 2016

FieldNET and EM Surveying. The Ultimate Moisture Management Solution.

Electromagnetic soil surveys (EM) and variable rate irrigation are two tools that when used together can have maximum impact on your bottom line and allows for optimisation of the VRI system. On top of this, systems such as the Lindsay Precision VRI and FieldNET can produce a proof of placement map which can be used for analysis with other layers. This feature adds to the power of the EM-VRI combo.

The EM Survey:
  • From the EM survey individual zones of soil type can be created, each with different water holding capacities.
  • Zone maps are geo-referenced which allows for further use in mapping programs.
  • Ground truthing of EM zones with a neutron probe will build a profile of actual soil water holding capacities.

EM Survey Zones

The VRI plan has multiple features:
  • Each soil zone has been added to have a different irrigation rate.
  • Tracks have been set as avoid zones. Troughs and low points can also have variable rates.
  • Pivot wheel tracks have a reduced irrigation rate.

FieldNET VRI Plan
 Once the plan has been run the FieldNET software will calculate the total mm of water applied over a given time period. This produces a map layer that can be used to further investigate relationships with other data layers such as yield data. The proof of placement map serves as excellent reporting tool as the total amount of water applied to each zone on the farm can be accounted for. It is important to remember that the combination of EM and VRI allows for greater precision and ultimately greater efficiency.

FieldNET VRI as applied map:
  • Irrigates to a set plan which can be dictated by factors such as soil moisture conditions, crop growth stage and available irrigation water.
  • Produces the record of water applied. This can be broken down further into water applied per zone. The reporting features enable accurate proof of water applied.
  • If a cost is applied over the water applied map a cost per zone can be quantified.
  • Further analysis can then be done on gross margin per zone with the cost of water applied factored in. Stay tuned to the blog to see the latest on this front.

FieldNET VRI as Applied Map

Data from irrigation proof of placement maps can be fed into OVERSEER®. The total amount of water applied can be used at a block level. This has in recent cases reduced leaching values at block level. It shows that there is merit in capturing this information and that there is potential for multiple uses for the data in the future. 

Another post from Nick, Precision Ag Technician.