An innovative sensor system is set to make variable depth cultivation a much more cost effective option for growers in the UK. Fitted on the front of the tractor, the ‘Topsoil Mapper’ calculates an optimum cultivation depth.
SOYL has reached an agreement to work in partnership with Austrian based soil technology business Geoprospectors GmbH to bring the Topsoil Mapper sensor system to the UK.
The Topsoil Mapper is an integrated sensor system which automatically maps soil and field characteristics in real time enabling variable depth cultivation. Mounted on the weight block or front linkage of the tractor, the Topsoil Mapper continuously measures soil moisture, soil texture and the depth to compacted layers throughout the topsoil profile. Constructed from lightweight materials, the unit is easily attached in a matter of minutes. Therefore it is possible to monitor soil condition and the effect of management practices throughout the growing season.
“The Topsoil Mapper is the perfect complement to our patented AUTOdepth variable depth system. Working together they provide a true on-the-go variable depth cultivation system,” explains SOYL commercial director, Simon Parrington.
“Inaccurate cultivation depth can be harmful and this combined system ensures the correct cultivation depth is used for every soil type in the field. The potential benefits are significant and we have seen diesel savings in addition to improved work rates through reduced load on machinery,” continues Mr Parrington.
Agricultural development manager, David Whattoff explains in more detail how the Topsoil Mapper works: “The principle of the Topsoil Mapper is electromagnetic induction. Utilising an array of transmitters and receiving coils the variation in soil properties is calculated automatically. The sensor system has been optimised to take into account the speed of the tractor, cultivator size and the response time of the hydraulic system ensuring cultivator control.
“The Topsoil Mapper works seamlessly with the SOYL AUTOdepth system enabling many growers to benefit from variable depth cultivation using their existing cultivation equipment.”
Speaking of the agreement with SOYL, Michael Pregesbauer, CEO, Geoprospectors said: “After a period of intense product development and an initial positive response from the market, we are glad that we have found an innovative distribution partner for the launch of the Topsoil Mapper in the UK.”