WINCHESTER — Harvex Agromart has gotten its hands on a new soil mapping tool that it’s itching to share with Eastern Ontario farmers.
Crysler sales representative Barton Simpson was at the Harvex Plot Day on Sept. 19 at Winchester, telling more than 200 farmers about the technology and what it can do for farmers.
The MSP3 is a convoluted looking contraption that pulls along behind a tractor. The multi-sensor platform can dig up valuable data for farmers. The machine measures three things in the soil: electrical conductivity, infrared and near-infrared light, and soil pH. Electrical conductivity tells farmers where the water is in their fields; the light tells farmers how much organic matter they have in that part of the field; and soil pH doesn’t have to fluctuate much to fluster corn or soybean plants.
Simpson takes that data, cleans it up, and ships it off to Varis, the company that makes the MSP3. Varis sends you back a map of your field, telling farmers what it needs and where it needs it. “We can refine and maximize this really cheap, cheap land we farm today,” said Simpson.
Harvex bought the machine in 2015, and after a few months of practice, Simpson started taking it out. He covers about 1,500 acres annually, but figures he could do as many as 3,000. The cost to farmers for use of the machine is $19.95 an acre. The best time is during the fall. He’s gone as far as Almonte and Cornwall, but if there was the acreage to justify the trip he’d go anywhere in Eastern Ontario, he told Farmers Forum.
Reach Simpson at 613-258-3445.