Cost-Saving Irrigation Measures Growing in Popularity on Nebraska Farms
July 12, 2017

The Next Evolution in How Farmers Grow Crops

I’ve never heard of a farmer that isn’t constantly busy, juggling all sorts of variables such as: the weather; soil moisture levels and nutrient content; plant health; or pests, all to optimize yield and maximize profit. But do any of them understand the dynamics of each of the layers that the roots occupy?

AquaSpy® shows farmers where their roots are foraging, whether or not there is nourishment available at that depth, and how much the root uptakes that sustenance for growth. AquaSpy® users can take our data to make input decisions every minute of every day to control what we believe to be the most important variable – the ability to know when the active root zone needs to intake vital nutrients and whether those nutrients are available. This is the next evolution in farming and it drives yield and is both common sense and scientifically driven.

Others are just now recognizing what we have long known to be true. The key to a crop’s health and growth is to have the efficient ability to intake vital nutrients in the active root zone, such as water and fertilizer, to the extent this fuel can turn into energy and subsequently higher growth. But just because others are finally recognizing this in concept, doesn’t mean the technology is easily ready and available. AquaSpy® is completely and foundationally unique from the very essence of what we provide as a scientific data driven process control tool acting as voice of the plant. Others provide a sensor at a random depth, showing a relative wetting up or drying down relative to how wet or how dry the field (at that one random depth) was at the point of installation. Drones will show the colors of wet or dry at centimeters of depth over a field with no knowledge of or concern with where the active root zone is, or whether or not there is liquefied sustenance in that root zone. AquaSpy® gives many different and separate measures (EC, temperature, and moisture) on an absolute basis of full, empty, overflowing or anything in-between.

Understanding where the active root zone is located is a crucial component in understanding nutrient uptake for the different crop types. AquaSpy’s role in this transaction is to provide the information to guide the delivery system so that the nutrients are not just spread haphazardly over the field and ending up at any random depth without regard to getting that vital energy directly to the precise depth at which at any given time, the active root zone is ready and willing to uptake those nutrients.

Statistical Data to Validate This

AquaSpy® has established the world’s first and largest database of detailed statistical data on plant root growth. Based on automated root detection from thousands of fields with different crops, AquaSpy® has the world’s only database of detailed statistical data on plant root growth by tracking root growth and crop behavior of both water and nutrients though a 48” profile gathering data points from 12 sensors (each sensor 4 inches apart). The data confirms that root growth, in conjunction with having the right moisture and nutrients available in the active root zone, is a major part of driving yield for the farmer. 

AquaSpy® has found consistently over thousands of fields and over several years that this process control practice delivers yield increases from 11% to 42% when used by our subscribers. Think of it as the next evolution in how farmers grow crops by listening to them at depth.