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How-to use LandMapper and consumer-grade GPS data-logger to quickly map salinity on farm fields

GPS waypoints in Google EarthTask on hand: estimate salinity level on fields planned for rice next year. Six fields with total area of 322 acres were selected by farmer.

Equipment on hand: two LandMappers with different size probes attached (measuring electrical conductivity (EC) down to ~ 8” and 18”), Columbus GPS data-logger, all-road vehicle or “Mule”. Three people: farmer driving a '”mule” and recording data on paper, one person measuring with Landmapper at 18” depth, other person measuring EC with LandMapper to 8” depth and recording POI or way points with GPS. Results: 30 points recorded in less than 1.5 hour (including about 45 min break to wait out the rain). EC in the field varied from 5 mS/m to 106 mS/m on surface; and from 19 mS/m to 400 mS/m in deeper layer.

Problems encountered: pouring rain, all electronics got wet, one LandMapper refused to store data (so it is always a good idea to write measurements on paper as a backup :), we did small repair of probe banana-plug contact with pocket knife.

track of EC mapping points on SSURGO map in Google Earth

To see what type of soils are on the farm and where we measured EC, download and install Google Earth from http://earth.google.com . Then go to Google Earth Interface and download soilweb.kmz plugin. Save it to your harddrive. In Google Earth program go to File/Open and open attached .kml and KMZ files. You will see locations of our measurements, satellite imagery of the fields and outlines of soil map units. Clicking on yellow abbreviations bring quick reference about soil series name and profile. Clicking on soil name brings you a lot of detail information about soil properties, scientific soil name, typical native plant (with hyperlinks to plant database) and recommended soil usage.  This database is maintained by UC Davis.

soil profile information from Google Earth SSURGO plugin


Download flyers with more information:

QUICK ESTIMATION OF SALINITY IN FIELD SOILS AND IRRIGATION WATER WITH LANDMAPPER ® ERM-02

Typical Values of Electrical Conductivity and Resistivity of Soils and Waters measured with LandMapper

THEORY of FOUR-ELECTRODE RESISTIVITY/CONDUCTIVITY METHOD 

Vertical Electrical Sounding to non-destructively evaluate salinity in topsoil layers 

 

 

Location

Farm Winnie, TX 29° 36' 14.6448" N, 94° 21' 7.0524" W

Dairy Farming

You planned about rice for next year. I'll suggest you have 322 acres, you may try any thing in Dairy Farming category.

Thank you for your comment,

Thank you for your comment, but we don't plan for rice for the acreage - farmer did. Farmers here in southern TX usually plant rice or pasture grassess and raise cattle. Same farmer rotates between rice/pasture on his farm. If the soils salinity were detrimental for rice, it would be wise to leave those fields for pasture/plant hay grass which would tolerate higher salinity, instead of rice. Our LandMapper devices help to test soil salinity directly in the field before growing season and allocate fields for different crops accordingly aiding in profitable and sustainable agriculture.

Larisa Golovko (Pozdnyakova), Ph.D. - President of Landviser, LLC

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