In-the-field scanning device wins agronomic award at Ag in Motion

Aug 12, 2022

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Ag in Motion presented numerous awards to the agriculture community, from those who help others to advancements in the field that will assist farmers in the field.

This year's Agronomics winner was the ATP NutriScan 2.0, a device made to test soil samples while in the fields, instead of needing to be sent out to a lab.

The real-time soil test gives results back in approximately five minutes, whereas otherwise, a lab test may take up to a week to be completed.

Dan Owen, the Director of Market Development and Agronomy for ATP, gives an example of one situation that he was in when getting a test done quickly helped out greatly.

"Prices were increasing at $200 at certain points in time - If I'd have had to wait a week for soil test results to get back to make my buying decision, it would have cost me an extra $200 dollars a ton. Whereas now I can go into a field, I can scan the soil and within five minutes I can make those buying decisions and I have more information to make those buying decisions with. "

That unit is also available for all people in the ag industry, meaning no service calls are required for testing in the field.

"The unit itself is for sale, so we sell the units to both retailers and out into the ag industry. Anybody can use this unit," said Owen, "It's not a service that ATP offers, so it's great in that it's a scaleable thing. whether it's a large grower, retail, or a distribution company, they all have access to the technology."

ATP does run a subscription service for the tests since the product utilizes the ATP database in order to get a proper reading.

That comes in 3-year contracts that cost around $7,200 a year for unlimited scans, with an additional one-year contract that charges for the hardware, which is $5,000.

Owen says they've heard good results once farmers realize that it stacks up well compared to past methods.

"What we see is when a grower starts to use or a retailer starts to use the product they question it, but once they've used it and going through the process of going back and checking it against what they've done in the past," said Owen, "It's very complimentary. That's what starts to get people excited with the technology when it can prove that it's just as good as what they were doing in the past."

NutriScan 2.0's precursor has been out for 3 years, and there are currently 100 2.0 units out in western Canada.

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