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Sensing of soil and plant properties before and during the growing season for nutrients and moisture can be useful in decision making for modern broad-acre grain production. This project aimed to review the potential use of cost-effective Micro Electronic and Mechanical (MEMS) IR technology on-farm and scope out engineering solutions to many of the variables involved in achieving a good quality reliable soil sample collection and presentation of the MEMS IR sensor.

The study highlights the most suitable and feasible applications of the sensing technology and discusses engineering concepts that would provide growers with hands-on devices for collecting soil and plant data. The final objective was to highlight the most suitable engineering solution to take forward to prototype in a subsequent project, including the design for a proof of concept prototype which will enable on-farm testing during subsequent studies.

Soil machine

Project funding

This project was funded by the Grain Research and Development Council (GRDC) for three years (2011-2014).

For further information, please contact Chris Saunders.