Nick Strelczuk, precision technology specialist with Hutchinsons, highlights the importance of understanding soil variability in all crops, including arable crops and top fruit.
He explains that TerraMap is a new, highly accurate soil mapping service offered at two levels of service – standard and premium. It uses gamma-ray detection technology to measure 21 important soil parameters at a resolution of 800 points per hectare, much more accurately than anything else available.
Scanning can be carried out irrespective of crop cover or soil moisture at a breadth and resolution unheard of until its launch back in spring 2019.
"Soil scanning takes place by driving an all-terrain vehicle fitted with the sensor and taking soil samples, to be used to create individual map layers. As long as the buggy can travel, TerraMap can be used, so it is a very versatile system and can be used over the winter period."
TerraMap provides high-definition mapping of all common nutrient properties, pH, soil texture, organic matter and cation exchange capacity, as well as elevation and available water.
These results can be used to create much more accurate variable rate plans, delivered via Omnia, Hutchinsons layered mapping and precision nutrient management software.
"We can scan vineyards, download the data in Omnia and it can then be used for nutritional plans for existing and new orchards." he says.
“With Omnia, growers can overlay their soil scans with yield maps from previous harvests to help them understand how each rootstock and clone is affected by their soils and use the data to optimise planting plans. Creating the most detailed variable rate plans is key, and that means that the information going into the plans needs to be as accurate as possible," says Nick.
"We can scan orchards, download the data in Omnia and it can then be used for nutritional plans in existing orchards. If planting a new orchard it can be used to help with row and tree spacing, as well as the type of rootstock to use.
"At the National Fruit show in November many fruit growers were interested in the technology of the Omnia system and the TerraMap and many have already signed up."