The Soil Tech Project is an initiative of National Landcare’s Smart Farming Partnerships and is funded via a grant from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The Project uses an agile development approach to bring together soil scientists from the University of Sydney, agtech software developers FarmLab and CorrelLink, and agronomists from AGRIvision to translate peer reviewed soil science into six digital soil management tools for a new soil management system for land managers. The grant was awarded to Andrea Koch Agtech in late 2018 and is managed by Andrea Koch and Robert Burdock.
Soil science research produced prior to 2006 was not able to take advantage of current connectivity technology such as smart phones, tablets or cloud storage. With the advent of these tools, internet connectivity and increased processing speeds, this “stranded” science can now be introduced to land managers and practical applications can be commercialised. While yet to be applied at scale for regenerative agriculture, the use of such tools has been particularly effective in broadacre cropping where agronomists and consultants, who sample soil over large areas, are able to optimise their sample locations, save time and improve accuracy. Geospacial datasets from Geoscience Australia have also helped to better zone and sample soil.
Planned for release to coincide with World Soil Day on 5 December 2019 are two of the six digital soil management tools. The first guides the most appropriate soil sample selection points across paddock zones. These sample points link to a second tool which provides accurate digital soil mapping to determine soil attributes in paddocks to inform better decision-making for soil management. As a partner in the Soil Tech Project, FarmLab will be the initial host of the tools when they are released. These can be accessed via registration at http://www.farmlab.com.au.
Before the Project concludes in early 2022, work will be conducted on zone segmentation analysis, boundary line analysis, available water capacity in soil, and tools to support farm-scale seasonal forecasting.
To find out more, contact the Project Sponsor, Ms Andrea Koch at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Project Manager, Dr Robert Burdock at email@example.com.