Trimble announced a new agronomic service that is part of its Connected Farm solution. The new service, Soil Information System (SIS) solution, provides farmers and their trusted advisors with in-depth 3-D soil data they can use to make more informed decisions about their crop production goals. The SIS data is accessed through Connected Farm and can be used with Trimble’s Farm Works farm management software or other geographic information systems (GIS) platforms. Connected Farm enables better decision making by providing one central location for accessing key information impacting farm operations such as rainfall totals, weather forecasts, commodity tracking, planting coverage, yield mapping, fleet management, and irrigation monitoring and control. 

SIS is a revolutionary 3-D soil mapping technology that uses advanced sensors along with intelligent targeting and geo-processing algorithms to produce high resolution, accurate soil and topographic information. By providing a greater understanding of the physical and chemical characterization of the soil, including how inputs move through the soil, SIS enables farmers and their trusted advisors to initiate more effective solutions to resolve the unique challenges of each area of their fields. The SIS solution outputs precise, multi-layer soil models that are more comprehensive than traditional methods used in the industry today. Some examples of map types include: root zone depth, soil texture, plant available water, compaction depth, macro and micro-nutrient levels, soil nutrient holding capacity, and salt and toxicity concentrations.

By analyzing soil variability and patterns prior to sampling—and by using its industry-exclusive data acquisition and analysis software—SIS provides targeted recommendations on the best locations where soil samples should be taken. In some cases this reduces the number of samples required to provide high-quality information by as much as 60 percent over traditional sampling methods. As a result, the solution enables agronomists and other trusted advisors to be more efficient with in-field data collection, providing valuable time and operating cost savings.

“By adding the Soil Information System solution to Connected Farm, Trimble is providing farmers and their agronomists with critical soil information they can use to improve crop production and benefit the bottom line,” said Levi Kettle, Connected Farm business area director of Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “For example, knowing the soil’s plant available water capacity can aid in irrigation layout, scheduling, moisture sensor targeting, root stock selection and many other management decisions.”

"Variability in yield and quality are due primarily to non-uniform soils being managed as uniform soils. In the past, our inability to identify the components of this soil variability prevented us from achieving greater crop uniformity and better economic returns,” said Robert Wample, Ph.D., a plant physiologist and owner of Edgeknoll Consulting, an SIS service provider. “SIS allows us to take a proactive approach to overcoming soil variability, and when combined with geo-referenced variability in crop yield and quality, the effectiveness of this approach is enhanced even more resulting in an ‘agricultural forensics’ approach to precision agriculture.”

The SIS solution is available in several service levels depending on the accuracy and resolution required for the particular crop type and the grower’s production goals. The solution is available through authorized Trimble service providers. For more information on SIS, visit:  www.trimble.com/agriculture/sis.