Thanks to the leadership and efforts of Ryan Haden, assistant professor and coordinator of the agronomy and sustainable agriculture programs, a grant from the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association has provided $15,000 towards the purchase of the Wintex 1000 automated soil sampler and a Polaris Ranger UTV on which the soil sampler will be mounted. The equipment will be used to train students in the latest methods of grid soil sampling and the development of prescription maps for variable rate fertilizer application.
The Wintex1000 takes homogeneous soil samples to a depth of 12". The depth can vary infinitely from 4" - 12". The soil sample is taken with a probe, not like other soil sampling machines with an auger. Samples taken with an auger always take more material from the top layers than the lower layers of soil and therefore do not provide an accurate profile.
The Wintex1000 can take soil samples in any kind of soil - even freshly tilled. The soil sample is automatically filled into a holding box that the operator can then dump into soil lab bags. The Wintex1000 has a capacity of about 38 soil samples per hour with 12 probes in each, which means about 450 probes per hour. All functions are carried out from the driver's seat.
Advanced technology allows the machine to sense a rock or other destructive material beneath the surface and reverses the cycle.