Soil Sample Tech – It’s Getting Better, Brighter and Bigger

Every fall as soon as the combines are put away in the shed it is a race to soil sample acres before Mother Nature closes the door on the season.  Choosing the right soil sampling computer can simply mean the difference between your equipment working when you get to the field or not.  Lost acres due to old, inadequate or cheap equipment can mean the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue and fewer variable rate acres to spread.

Of all the advancements through the years of the precision ag era, soil sampling computers probably progressed the least in terms of technology and user friendliness – until now.  That trend is changing and the newer field computers are built for the specific task at hand.

New field computer models offered by Trimble, Ag Leader and SST all feature ruggedized designs with long battery life and multiple weather-proof connections for tethering external GPS units or barcode scanners.  These designs are acres ahead of the small, fragile off-the-shelf consumer handhelds that were pressed into service in the early days of precision ag.

Ag Leader’s new Mesa and Trimble’s Yuma are two new field computers that truly exemplify how far the technology has come.  At first glance the most obvious difference is screen size – it’s big and bright in comparison to their previous counterparts.  The Ag Leader Mesa sports a sunlight readable 5.7-inch screen and the Trimble Yuma has a full 7-inch screen.  The list of options and capabilities is staggering – built-in WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, cameras and cellular modems.

Even though the new tech options like Bluetooth and built-in cameras are cool stuff – it is battery life and durability that simply win over the harshest critics and keep racking up the acres.  Both the Mesa and Yuma sport military-grade ruggedness and literally all day battery-life.  In fact, the Yuma allows for hot-swappable batteries in the field.

If you’re looking for ruggedness on a budget, you then consider the SST Field Computer with their built-in Stratus soil sampling and crop scouting software.  The 20 hours of battery run time is impressive and the available options make it a very versatile and economical choice.

For more information on these field computer options and available soil sampling and field scouting software contact a Prime Meridian sales representative at 417-667-4471 or email for details and pricing options.