Ag Tech and Research News

OneSoil Pro – a step up for variable rate application

19 March 2024, UK: A new partnership between leading crop production company Agrovista and farming solutions developer OneSoil offers growers access to advanced precision agriculture software to optimise input usage and increase yields.

OneSoil Pro uses multiple sources of information to create highly accurate variable rate maps that will enable growers to capitalise on recent advances in application technology.

Agrovista Precision specialist Richard Dulake says: “As fertiliser spreading and drilling equipment continues to develop and become more accessible, growers require more advanced variable rate nitrogen and seed services.

“OneSoil Pro enables us to supply those customers with a truly innovative platform to maximise the return on investment on expensive inputs.”

The platform processes up to seven years of existing satellite imagery to analyse individual fields, taking into account NDVI (vegetation index), soil brightness (soil type), and elevation maps. The data is then crunched, dividing the field into zones based on crop productivity potential.

Yield maps can also be uploaded to enable the software to generate a yield report for the different zones, to aid decision making further.

OneSoil Pro also sets up control strips automatically within separate productivity zones, so growers can easily assess the effect of different input rates on crop yields over several seasons, helping them to fine-tune applications.

“The system also highlights the productivity percentage change when creating variable rate applications of seed or fertiliser compared with standard seeding rates for each zone, which I’ve not seen before on any online platform,” says Richard.

“For example, one zone (purple) might have a higher potential because has performed x% above the average year after year, while another (pink zone) might have performed x% lower than the average over the same time.

“This gives growers a very useful guide on how different zones are responding to various rates of inputs, and provides a basis for discussion how these could be tweaked to further improve crop performance.”

Variable rate seed

Growers can split fields into 3, 5 or 7 productivity zones on which to base seed rates, to improve establishment in previously poor-performing zones and obtain more even crops across the field.

“Given the amount of data incorporated into these maps, the system is far more robust than the soil maps that have been largely used in the past,” says Richard.

Variable rate nitrogen

The variable rate nitrogen map is based on NDVI satellite data updated every 2-3 days.

“Targeting the nitrogen better according to crop potential helps even up crops, typically leading to 3-5% yield increases,” says Richard.

“Again, users can choose 3, 5 or 7 zones and choose how much to increase or decrease the rate from the standard application for each one.”

Growers can access as many application strategies as they want for a whole year, and they have full access to all imagery and application maps.

Variable rate nutrition has been slow to take off in the UK. But, with SFI funding worth £27/ha due to start this year, interest is expected to grow.

“Most growers already have a variable-rate-capable spreader,” says Richard. “Given that OneSoil Pro costs only a few pounds per ha, this is a pretty affordable way of progressing.

“Of course, paybacks are still potentially very good without SFI funding – at current values a 3% yield increase on an 8t/ha crop of wheat would be worth £40/ha uplift in return, around nine times the cost of OneSoil Pro.”

Soil sampling

Agrovista also plans to use OneSoil Pro to place soil sampling points, based on productivity zones rather than a standard grid system, offering a much more accurate way of targeting remedial measures across the field than in the past.

“Some growers do use soil maps to site sampling points, but it’s not unusual for areas of productivity to overly two or more very different soil types, so it’s not necessarily that accurate,” says Richard.

“Given the importance of good soil sampling, and now with SFI funding available for soil management planning, it makes sense to incorporate this into the OneSoil Pro offer.”

Also Read: Protecting Basmati Rice: Punjab Bans 10 Insecticides with High Residue Levels

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