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mYields DRONATION program: Moves Soil Sampling to a new level with Topography-Based 3D Field Modelling

Updated: Apr 19

Harnessing the Power of Topography for Precise Soil Analysis

We are happy to announce the launch of a new service designed to enhance agricultural productivity through advanced soil sampling. This novel utilization of 3D field modelling focuses on creating topography-based soil sampling zones, a significant shift from the traditional NDVI index-based methods commonly influenced by crop production and agronomic practices.

Traditionally, precision soil sampling has relied heavily on the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which often reflects the immediate impact of agricultural practices rather than the inherent qualities of the soil. Our service shifts this paradigm by using detailed 3D models of field topography to guide soil sampling efforts.

Topography Translated: Converting Complex Data into Actionable Field Zones

Our approach at mYields embracing a holistic view of field topography. We analyse multiple topographical aspects such as the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI), slope, elevation and aspect. This data is normalised at the field level, ensuring that we delineate the most effective zones to accurately represent the unique characteristics of each field underneath the provided field boundary.
When we set these zones, we group them by these features. We make sure each area represents a consistent part of your land. We recognize that similar soil conditions can appear in separate parts of your field. This approach allows us to provide a clearer and more practical understanding of your soil, helping you make the most informed decisions for your farming needs.

Comparision of Topography-Based 3D Field (1st, 3rd) and NDVI based (2nd, 4th) Soil Zone creation

Even Flat Fields Benefit from 3D

If you're wondering whether topography matters for flat fields, think again. We've conducted tests and the image above shows how fields with less than 5 meters of elevation difference could show natural patterns much better then NDVI. Even though the landscape may appear flat, 3D modelling is valuable at every scale. While the significance might vary for crop production, its effectiveness in creating soil sampling zones remains consistently strong. This technique helps us capture and analyze subtle variations in your field, ensuring you get the most accurate soil data possible.

Advantages of Topography-Based Soil sampling

mYields' DRONATION innovative approach to generate 3D models of farmland topography provides several advantages over traditional techniques:

Enhanced Soil Sampling Accuracy: By basing soil sampling zones on topography, farmers can obtain a more consistent and accurate understanding of their soil's characteristics, independent of crop type or current agronomic practices.

Improved Nutrient Management: Understanding the topographical layout helps in better predicting the movement and accumulation of nutrients, enabling more precise fertilizer applications and thus, reducing waste and environmental impact.

Cost Efficiency: More accurate soil sampling leads to optimised input usage. We also observed that thanks to our multi polygon approach we need less zones to describe the Field for Soil Sampling zones, in most cases a 5ha sample gives an accurate result.

A Step Towards Sustainable Farming

By focusing on topography rather than temporary vegetative indices, this service promises a more sustainable, accurate and cost-effective approach to soil management in agriculture. This development not only supports farmers in making more informed decisions about their land but also contributes to the broader goals of sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship.
With the launch of this topography-based soil sampling service, mYields continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and its role as a leader in agricultural technology solutions.


How Topography Influences Soil Nutrient Movement

Topography is a critical but often underapreciated factor in farming that affects how nutrients move through the soil. It describes the three-dimensional form of the soil surface, dictating the flow and direction of liquids — including nutrient-rich solutions. Since nutrients are typically present in ion-form, their movement speed can vary significantly based on the soil's topographical features. This makes topography an ideal parameter for understanding and predicting nutrient distribution and availability in agricultural lands.

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