TREMONT, Ill. — Fertilizer is the second highest cost of agricultural production behind land, but the least understood input on how to manage.
“This is a pressing concern and as we researched the origin of all our nutrient management techniques, we found that fertilizer management evolved at a slower pace than many things in agriculture,” said said Dale Koch, Precision Planting. Product manager.
Precision Planting announced the August 3 launch of a new interconnected system that brings precision and efficiency to nutrient management.
According to Koch, Radicle Agronomics is a new generation of tools for professional agronomists that allows them to eliminate manual, error-prone processes and, instead, focus their time on the agronomic issues facing their farmer clients.
“Soil nutrient management is an urgent challenge in modern agriculture, threatening farmer profitability and environmental stewardship,” Koch said during his launch at the Precision Technology Institute in Pontiac, Illinois. .
“We created Radicle Agronomics to transform soil nutrient management with precise tools and reliable agronomic data so agronomists are better equipped to guide farmers to superior results.”
Radicle Lab, the cornerstone of this new suite of tools, is the world’s first fully automated soil lab. Its small footprint, self-calibrating technology, and ability to analyze hundreds of unattended samples allow agronomists to simplify their workflow.
The lab only needs a 110-volt hook-up, a source of compressed air and a garden hose to supply water.
The patent-pending Microflow technology built into Radicle Lab removes all the human touches that occur during the traditional lab process, giving agronomists the confidence to produce precision soil testing in minutes without lifting a finger.
“Radicle Lab is the result of six years of development, dozens of patents pending, and a great team of scientists and engineers all working together,” Koch said.
“It’s an exciting day for our dedicated team as we introduce this simple to use, yet accurate system.”
The second element of the new Radicle Agronomics product suite is GeoPress, which eliminates the drudgery of record keeping and bag handling in soil sampling.
GeoPress mounts to any field-ready vehicle and automatically mixes and stores the soil sample in a geo-referenced, reusable container. These full containers are then returned to Radicle Lab where they are loaded into the system, associated with the field location and analyzed for soil nutrients.
“The job of GeoPress is to deal with mixing samples, filling samples into GeoTubes and putting caps, associating those samples with the point on the ground where you are so you can focus on the ground , get good samples and make observations,” Koch said.
GeoTube is reusable and specially designed for this system. Each GeoTube container has a unique, permanent electronic RFID tag that is automatically read, and the sample is geo-tagged and saved to the cloud. It is cleaned in the automated lab and ready to return to the field.
The final piece of the Radicle Agronomics ecosystem is a cloud-based software package that connects every step of the process from field to lab so agronomists can provide superior nutrient management recommendations to their clients.
“It connects the field to the lab and the lab to the writing of guidelines,” Koch noted.
“In the same way that Precision Planting has transformed the planting process over the past three decades, we believe Radicle Agronomics will play a transformative role in how agronomists and farmers manage their nutrient needs for decades to come. come,” Bryce added. Baker, Precision Planting marketing manager.
“The focus of any of our products is when you walk into a field and are about to plant, spray or sample the soil, we want to take the guesswork, the questions, the fingers crossed out of the equation,” Koch said. .