Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
Easy to install probes measure soil moisture at 4-inch intervals down to a depth of 48 inches, as well as salinity and temperature. These data are pre-processed then transmitted over the cellular network to the AquaSpy Cloud. Proprietary algorithms give yield-optimizing insights for ideal irrigation. The powerful, intelligent AgSpy algorithm processes the data and provides analysis and actionable insights so that the grower can easily understand what is going on out in the field without having to visit the field.
What are the benefits of vertical insights into crops root zones?
Having root-specific data literally avoids “spray and pray” – watering the field and hoping something good happens. Studies based on data collected from 1950 to 2015 have shown that simply adding irrigation for corn, soybean, spring wheat, winter wheat, sorghum, cotton, barley, oats and alfalfa, can yield 210% to 250% more food than when relying only on rainfall. That sounds like a great win. However, that’s literally leaving money on the table. The next evolution is to take this “horizontal” approach (spraying across the field) that assumes that since the soil is moist that it’s benefiting the roots and flip that on its head with a vertical approach into the crop root zone. Looking downward into the active root zone up to 48 inches is what we call a “vertical” approach. Using this new vertical approach of looking at each crop’s roots, a grower can gain up to another 40% more yield in addition to conserving valuable water and costly nutrients. A vertical approach lets the grower better control the timing and volume of irrigation as well as nutrients which leads to better crop health, consistency and yield.
What types of crops does it support?
Crops and vegetables best suited for 12 sensor probes include plants with active root zones between 16 and 60 inches which covers a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. Crophesy 3 sensor probes are great for shallow rooted vegetables.
AquaSpy Platform Overview
The platform includes:
- Patented rugged multi-sensor probes
- Cellular Connectivity Gateway
- Proprietary YES! Score
- API Integration
- Pre-tuned crop specific algorithms
- Desktop / Mobile App
How do I tune the probes for my crops?
No coding or programming is required. Simply install the probes in your field, select your location and crop type in the AgSpy interface and the work is done for you. AquaSpy has gathered more than 10 years of active root zone data for literally hundreds of crop types and lifecycle stages.
The system is pre-calibrated and auto-connects to the AgSpy platform for remote monitoring, meaning that there is little interaction with the system in the field until end of season removal. With a sensor providing moisture, temperature and EC data at 4 inch intervals down to 48 inches, a comprehensive vertical view of the soil condition past the depth of most crop roots is transmitted at regular intervals to the AgSpy cloud-based data-driven platform.
What does the AquaSpy Intelligent Crop Sensing System measure?
- Moisture at the Active Root Level
- EC / Salinity
- Growing Days
- Root Depth
- Last Irrigation
- Weather Data (optional)
- Precipitation (optional)
How to read the data
For the moisture report, relative moisture is plotted against time. Upward spikes are water events, either rain or mechanical irrigation. The stair-step progress from a water event shows the uptake of water by the crop roots as evapotranspiration increases during the day.
The green band represents the ideal moisture zone calculated for this crop. The goal of irrigation management is to keep soil moisture in this band. The lower border of the green band is set above the crop refill rate, below which wilt can occur.
What is the YES!™ Score?
With a maximum of 850, and a minimum of 350, your YES! Score indicates how well you stayed in your green band compared to other fields in your region having similar environmental conditions.
Can the data be exported to other systems?
Yes, our AgSpy software has an open API which allows you to integrate with other popular crop monitoring and weather systems.
Do I need to purchase a cellular connection for my sensors?
Included in the price is the cellular plan that we have negotiated in bulk.
Does the system have GPS location?
How does the probe connect to the Internet?
Wireless services are included in your subscription. AquaSpy probes connect to the Cloud via the local cellular network. The connection protocol is pre-programmed into the Solar-Powered CommTower, and runs automatically at power on.
Do I have to go to the field to collect my data?
The AquaSpy system has a build-in cellular connection that transmits your data to your phone, desktop, or a third-party interface. No need to spend time going to the field to retrieve your data. No need to set up ancillary wireless systems.
How many probes will I need?
The number of probes depends on your management practices and your irrigation capabilities. In general, you will need minimum one install per uniform irrigation area. However, if you are able to apply varying amounts throughout the field, you should consider placing strategic installs where you want to verify certain conditions. Say you want to make sure that the water application is uniform along a drip system, place one in the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end. It could also be advantageous to place installs in varying soil conditions.
How do I install the probes?
In most cases the 48” Legacy probe will require a hole augured a few inches deeper than the length of the probe. A slurry mixture should be applied for best installation.
Do I need to apply a Slurry?
A slurry mixture will help seat the probe and eliminate air pockets which may affect the reading. It takes just a few moments to apply a slurry to guarantee an air pocket free install. It is recommended to take some soil and mix with water into a muddy slurry, fill about half of the augured hole with slurry and press the probe into the soil to the specified depth. Once the slurry dries it has no effect on performance.
Do I need to calibrate the probe?
The probe is pre-calibrated during manufacturing and will not need re-calibration. The AgSpy data algorithms are capable of handling data from many different situations (and are soil independent) including poor installations.
How do I calibrate the probe to a specific crop?
When you install the probe, select the crop type from the install menu. The AgSpy algorithms will handle the rest for the entire season; AquaSpy the only fully self-calibrating and self-adjusting system available.
What kind of maintenance does the probe need?
AquaSpy probes require no special maintenance. At the end of the season, remove from the field, wipe them off with a cloth, turn arrow to off and “end season” in the app.
How do I receive data from my probes?
Your soil moisture and a variety of other data such as infiltration and consumption is automatically uploaded to the cloud can be viewed in the AgSpy app on your desktop.
How often is data uploaded?
Data is uploaded from the sensors to the app multiple times per day.
Will I receive alerts about issues?
Yes, the app has been designed prioritize issues that need your attention first.
What types of irrigation are supported?
AquaSpy intelligent systems work with drip, pivot, or dryland.
What types of soil are supported?
AquaSpy probe works with all soil types.
What is the probe temperature operating range?
AquaSpy probes will work from 0 F to 140 F.
How do I renew my subscription?
Your monthly subscription will renew automatically. If you have an annual license, please contact sales.
What is the return policy for the hardware?
If the hardware breaks or quits functioning within the term of the service, just send it back to us and we’ll replace it. Contact us to start an RMA.
There is unlimited warranty so long as the service contract is current you are under warranty.