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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #154186

Title: DEVELOPMENT OF A REAL-TIME ELECTRO-PNEUMATIC SOIL SAMPLER

Author
item YILDIRIM, S
item BIRRELL, S
item Hummel, John

Submitted to: International Congress on Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and Environment
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2003
Publication Date: 10/10/2003
Citation: YILDIRIM, S., BIRRELL, S.J., HUMMEL, J.W. DEVELOPMENT OF A REAL-TIME ELECTRO-PNEUMATIC SOIL SAMPLER. PROCEEDINGS INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT. 2003. IZMIR, TURKEY. P. 393.

Interpretive Summary: Automated systems are needed to collect important soil, crop, and pest data. Sensors under development for on-the-go soil nutrient measurements have shown promise in laboratory tests, but for application, require a rapid and precise soil sampling method. This paper reports on the initial development of an automated, compressed-air-activated soil sampling method to collect and transport soil samples for analysis. The compressed-air system could have some advantages over a mechanical sampling system, including simplicity, fast response, digital controllability and accuracy in terms of collecting a precise mass of soil. This on-the-go soil sampling technology, in concert with appropriate sensors, could be used by crop consultants and corn producers to optimize target fertilizer application rates across a field. If the amount of fertilizer applied to each subfield area can be optimized for the crop being produced, a greater portion of the nutrients will be utilized by the crop, resulting in reduced impact of agricultural practices on the environment, which benefits all consumers.

Technical Abstract: An automated electro-pneumatic soil sampling method (EP) utilizing pressurized air for sample collection for real-time soil analysis was developed and tested. In laboratory tests, the EP method was capable of obtaining a consistent amount of sample in a short time (36 ms) with a coefficient of variation of less than 30% for all treatments in the experimental design. The effects of soil type, moisture content, and applied air pressure on the mass of sample collected were highly significant (1% level), while the effect of compaction was not significant. A soil sampling shank was designed, built, and integrated with the EP system to form a complete Real-Time Electro-Pneumatic Soil Sampler (REPS). The performance of the REPS was tested in a soil bin. Air pressure, pulse duration, moisture content and travel speed effects on soil sample mass were highly significant (1% level).