Agtech company EarthScout announced a new addition to its scalable line of agriculture smart products that help farmers and food producers during a drought to conserve water and reduce irrigation and inputs by providing real-time data about soil moisture and growing conditions on their land.
The innovative new EarthScout Soil Cub is an affordable, miniature 4.5″x3″x2″ commercial grade sensor that’s installed in the field to monitor soil moisture, soil temperature, and EC at two soil depths so growers can see moisture and nutrient levels throughout the root zone and adjust inputs. The device lasts all season with one charge, installs in minutes, and is maintenance-free.
“Soil Cub with wifi communicates field data to the EarthScout solar-powered cellular gateway up to two miles away by line of sight when installed with our 12′ flag antenna,” said EarthScout CEO, Troy Schmidtke. “The cellular gateway also measures air temperature and humidity. Up to 15 wifi-enabled Soil Cubs can communicate with one cellular gateway, giving farmers real-time insights into air and soil conditions across a 4-mile radius when using the EarthScout app. Soil Cub gives the grower the data they need during a drought to gradually reduce and lock in irrigation at ideal levels for healthy growth safely above the wilting point. Soil Cub will be available with cellular soon.”
Soil data is transmitted from the cellular gateway to the EarthScout App on the farmers’ smartphone where it’s presented with intuitive charts so they know when and how much to irrigate, spray, and more.
“Our agronomists and software team continually develop new solutions with machine learning for the EarthScout App that convert data into actionable insights for growers,” said Troy.
Soil Cub installs in the field with EarthScout’s burial tube and antenna. The 10″ x 16″ tube remains in the ground all season providing protection for Soil Cub and fast access for the farmer. The orange 12′ antenna inserts into the tube and extends above the canopy for easy identification in the field. It also has a spring base that bends 90 degrees so equipment and weather can safely pass over, and is quickly removed during planting or harvest. In greenhouses, Soil Cub installs instantly in a pot or bed with or without a burial tube.
“EarthScout’s partnering with the University of Minnesota and local grower Grant Anderson on a variable rate irrigation research project. Anderson farms has 8,000 acres of corn and edible beans and 100 irrigation pivots,” said Troy. “Last season we reduced Grant’s irrigation costs by 30% with Soil Cub – saving him $3,000 for every 120-acre field. Most farmers see 30-60% savings with our products and it’s very rewarding to help them during tough economic times.”
Soil Cub is currently offered on the EarthScout website as a bundle that comes with one cellular gateway and 3 wireless soil cubs. Additional soil cubs can be purchased separately and added to the system anytime.
“The response to Soil Cub has been overwhelming,” said Troy. “Growers want money-saving technology that’s affordable, quick to install, easy-to-use, scalable, durable, and reliable. Soil Cub answers that call.”
Soil Cub joins the extensive line of EarthScout L-Series outdoor and A-Series greenhouse smart farming products. Over 20 sensors are available for customizing EarthScout to monitor every type of plant, including fruits & vegetables, grains, orchards & vineyards, cannabis, and turf.