The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated hydraulic sampler mounted on an ATV. Some larger-scale units continue to garner attention.
Allan Baucom, Owner of Falcon Soil Technologies, says established ag retail users of his updated automated soil sampler are starting to see skepticism from growers shift. “Growers realized they never put much thought into how their soil samples were taken,” he says. “As they see Falcon taking more cores, eliminating human error, and getting better representation across the grid zones, they realize the true value of fertility decisions based on quality soil samples.”
Every year, GVM sees more interest in its AgriProbe. “It’s one of the few machines that allows users to comfortably and quickly take consistent, repeatable samples that are easily geotagged and bagged inside the cab,” says Mark Anderson, President.
But while interest is high, many small to mid-sized operations have a difficult time justifying the cost of the machine, he admits. The AgriProbe seems to be a better fit for larger organizations or organizations who can share the machine between multiple locations.
“One of our largest dealers, Independent Ag Equipment in the Northeast, has purchased a machine and has started offering soil sampling as a service that its precision ag specialist manages,” Anderson describes. All samples taken with the AgriProbe are taken using pre-determined sampling points based on historical soil data, geotagged, and managed through a cloud based system. Growers are liking the cloud feature — which allows them quick and easy access to their information at all times.