VIDEO: VR mapping services win national award

LANGHAM, Sask. — CropPro Consulting won an Equipment Manufacturers of Canada award for top new product in the agribusiness services category for its SWAT MAPS service.

SWAT MAPS is the company name for its variable rate process. It stands for soil, water and topography maps and it details changes across fields and enables creation of variable rate prescriptions for growers.

Derek Rude of CropPro said the company’s SWAT BOX technology is a big part of their service.

“What SWAT BOX is, is our automated soil electrical conductivity system. What soil electrical conductivity is, it will tell us soil properties like: where the sandy, dry areas are; it will tell us where the heavy clay moist areas are; and it will identify where there are areas of salinity,” Rude said at the CropPro Consulting booth during Ag In Motion.

He said information from the SWAT BOX is used as a layer of data along with topography and elevation data to make their management zone maps that guide the soil-sampling program, which then helps the company write variable rate prescription maps.

The SWAT BOX consists of an electrical conductivity sensor, data logger, a modem and the plastic sensor enclosure.

The modem enables data to be automatically uploaded to the cloud, but it needs a cellular connection.

The company either pulls the SWAT BOX with a truck or mounts the technology right onto implements.

“Equipment such as an air seeder, or tillage tool or harrow bar, anything like that. Then we’re much more economical gathering that data, so we can actually provide that same service at a 20 percent discount to our customers,” Rude said.

The SWAT BOX needs a 12-volt power supply from a tractor or truck, and it automatically starts to log data as soon as it starts moving.

When using a truck to pull the SWAT BOX, field passes are about 80 feet apart.

“But if there are any areas of topography change, like a water run or a hill or a depression, we have to drive those areas to get better coverage,” Rude said.

Some implements may need two SWAT BOX sensors installed.

“If it is a very wide toolbar or wide air seeder, we can actually mount two sensors spaced evenly apart so that we get very high resolution. So it depends on the area. If the land is quite variable, we will put two sensors on to get higher resolution,” Rude said.

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