Jim Case of Case Farms in Delaware Co. has been busy the last four years developing the Soilhawk automated soil sampling device. The machine, now ready for full production and fieldwork, utilizes multiple areas of ingenuity, including a top level scraper to clear away debris from a soil testing unit, multiple testing settings, and remote-controlled use, among other options.
“I got the idea because I went out and did manual hand sampling and it got pretty intense — it was a lot of work,” said Case. “We wanted a way to cover a lot of acres a lot faster and do a really good job getting random samples and not just take samples out of a middle of a two and a half acre grid.”
Case said the built-from-scratch project replicates what a farmer would physically do in the field.
“We designed a scraper that will actually remove the residue from or debris before we take a sample, because if you leave that in, your sample is skewed right to begin with,” he said. “We use a remote button and the whole process takes about 20 seconds to complete.”
Joel Penhorwood chats with Jim about how the unit works and its creation in this in-depth video.