This mobile sensor platform built by agricultural engineers at the University of Arizona uses a host of sensors on its front boom to monitor crop plots. | Robin Booker photo

Researchers use sensors to track crops

The University of Arizona’s agricultural department uses sensors to enhance high throughput genotyping of crop varieties


MARICOPA, Ariz. — Sensors installed on a homemade mobile platform at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa campus helps researchers quickly understand the response of a diversity panel to a specific set of conditions. A diversity panel is a collection of genetic material, in this case germplasm of an agricultural crop. “It is a moving platform […] Read more

A massive robotic crop sensor at the University of Arizona calibrates smaller ones.  |  Robin Booker photo

Detailed scanner helps forge the future

The machine takes high resolution scans of field crops, helping to develop the next generation of ag sensors


MARICOPA, Ariz. — A massive robotic crop scanner at the Maricopa Agricultural Center takes extremely detailed measurements of crop plots and is helping to develop the next generation of agricultural sensors. “This is meant to be a reference system for very high resolution, high quality data sets that can then be down scaled and compared […] Read more

DOT’s latest tool is a New Leader dry product box. Similar to a conventional, convertible sprayer/spreader, this precision applicator can be lifted off the autonomous platform when not in use.  |  DOT/New Leader illustration

Dry fertilizer spreader box built for DOT

The implement from New Leader Manufacturing is the second designed in less than a year for the autonomous platform

New Leader Manufacturing is building a dry fertilizer spreader box for DOT, making it the second farm equipment manufacturer to join the DOT-ready implements team in less than a year. DOT is a Saskatchewan-built robotic platform designed to bring autonomous farming to broad acre grain production. Last summer a newly formed company called Connect, which […] Read more


The Veris iScan-plus harnesses four different sensing technologies, including an electrical conductivity array, red and infrared optical sensors, a capacitance moisture sensor and a thermopile sensor for soil temperature.  |  Veris photo

iScan-plus logs four soil factors at once

Tillage and seeding implement manufacturers are giving farmers more working tool adjustment features. But how do you know what to adjust and which way to adjust it? Simply guessing is counter to the intent of these adjustments, said Veris Technologies manager Tyler Lund in a phone interview. He says Veris has just introduced a new […] Read more

Finding out what kind of microbes are living in the soil may help producers determine overall soil health.  |  Getty illustration

It’s the little things in life that count

Microbes are the vehicles that transfer nutrients to plant roots in your fields. Counting these tiny living beings may give you a meaningful reading on the health and potential of your soil. As the science of soil becomes increasingly aware of the role microbes play, we’re seeing more commercial soil additives claiming to foster microbial […] Read more


FarmTRX enables growers to create yield maps and offers a cloud storage option that provides a catalogue of all of their mapped fields sorted by year. | Robin Booker photo

Older combines with enhanced data collection

A yield monitor retrofit by FarmTRX enables growers to fit their older combines with yield-mapping technology similar to late model combines. “I’m an old hardware guy so I designed a task-specific processor box that records the data. We use your smartphone for a real-time display and to configure what you’re doing, what crop you’re in […] Read more

The CropScan 3000H captures clean grain coming up the combine’s clean grain elevator, scans it with near infrared technology, analyzes the readings, and then sends the information to a touch screen PC in the combine’s cab. | Robin Booker photo

Up Next: get more data from the combine

Growers are able to create data-rich yield maps by installing a grain analyzer in their combine. “We are measuring protein, moisture, oil, fibre, starch as you are harvesting,” Victoria Clancy of Next Instruments said at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina. Next Instruments from Australia recently released its CropScan 3000H in Canada, which is the […] Read more

Using drones to assess crop damage can provide a return on the investment.  |  File photo

Drones fly higher in three ag applications

Regina — Unmanned aerial vehicle applications in agriculture have been over-promised and under-delivered, says Kelsey Martin of Martin Remote Sensing. He said the perspectives of hardware and software manufacturers, academics and service providers that use drone technologies have been given too much weight in media coverage. “There has been a bias because what’s happened is […] Read more