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Soil Conductivity Project Almost Fully Charged


The EM38 Soil Conductivity project might spark an interest in changing your fertilizer habits.

The Soil Conductivity study will wrap up this year. For this study, we’ve been mapping the field with a EM38 ground conductivity meter. We map the fields every couple of weeks, until the crops grow too big for us to pass through.

Soil Conductivity, Charged Up & Ready for Research

We’re looking for subtle changes in moisture levels as the crops grow. These slight changes could lead to practices developing and changing to better optimize crop yield. This year, we focused on fertilizer, tracking the effect of it on soil moisture levels.

soil conductivity
A UTV pulls a sled with the EM38 sensor along the field to collect data.

In our fertilizer trials, we placed 60% of recommended fertilizer in the soil and later sprayed a foliar application of 40% fertilizer on the crops. Alongside this, we did a pass with the full recommended amount of fertilizer in another area as the control plot.

“The idea is to go back and say, ‘where is the fertilizer most efficient?’ ‘Where did it benefit the crop and how is that tied to the moisture readings?’” says Lewis Baarda, Farming Smarter’s Field Tested Manager.  “Putting these pieces together might give us better insight into moisture.”

Our hope with this project is to identify if we can target fertility based on the moisture in soil. By doing these trials in-season, we may be better able to make crop fertilizing decisions. We want easily adopted results for you to implement in your fields.

Read more about the project on the Soil Conductivity project page

Check out some videos on the EM38 meter!