2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Vacuum-Powered Soil Sampler
"Farmers need to know what the soil profile looks like from top to bottom, and the deeper you go, the harder it is to do by hand with a probe," says Fritz. "Our rotating auger gets down to a 36-in. depth."
The auger mounts on an outrigger, which in turn can be mounted to the side of a pickup or ATV. As the auger enters the ground, the sample is conveyed to a collection cylinder at the base of the outrigger. From there it's sucked away to the vacuum chamber and deposited into one of four selected sample containers.
Normally with a probe, several samples taken in a grid area would be gathered, combined and labeled for testing. With more intensive sampling, a single deep sample is pulled and with the aid of the VCS, deposited in a compartment. Then as many as six or more shallow samples are drawn and deposited in a second compartment.
"With four compartments, we can do two grids or zones before stopping to bag and label the samples from each compartment," explains Fritz. "The VCS can be used in conjunction with GPS systems to map where the sample was pulled."
All the work is done from the operator's seat with remote control of the auger. Fritz estimates the system can reduce field sampling time by 25 percent or more, depending on soil type and conditions.
"With growing demand comes growing opportunity for independent or contract soil sampling," says Fritz. "While most of our units go to retail agronomy organizations, a fair number are going to contractors."
If interested in setting up a contract or independent sampling service, Fritz suggests contacting local fertilizer retailers and working through them. A Speedy Soil Sampler with outrigger, carousel, four sample bins and the VCS is priced at around $12,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Big John Manufacturing, P.O. Box 456, Osmond, Neb. 68765 (ph 402 748-3860; toll free 800 658-4471; fax 402 748-3235; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.Bigjohn mfg.com).
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