The Future of Soil Health Measurement

As discussions around sustainable farming practices and environmental stewardship continue to gain momentum, the spotlight on soil health has never been brighter. Recognising the critical need for effective soil monitoring solutions, PES Technologies has emerged as a pioneering force, offering a fast, accurate, and hassle-free method to measure soil health right in the field.

Founded in 2017 by CTO Dr. Jim Bailey and CEO Andrej Porovic, PES Technologies was born out of the need for quality, cost-effective soil testing solutions. Armed with Dr. Bailey’s expertise in solid-state physics and a collaborative effort with NIAB EMR, the team embarked on a mission to develop a sensor capable of conducting in-situ soil health assessments. The result? The innovative PES tool, now revolutionizing the way we monitor soil health.

The PES testing process is easy to do and can be carried out by anyone, with no specialist training necessary. With just a teaspoon of soil, users can initiate the testing process by inserting the sample into the compartment and activating the test through the PES mobile app. Within minutes, the sensors within the tool react to the volatile organic compounds emitted by the microbial community within the soil, generating an electronic fingerprint unique to each soil sample. This data is then transmitted to the cloud, where sophisticated algorithms correlate it with a range of soil health indicators. The indicator data is then seamlessly delivered to the user’s smartphone via the app interface.

Because the data is delivered through a Machine Learning Algorithm, when the PES system is updated with, for example, new indicators available, users will be able to re-analyse existing sample data to get the latest insights, as well as having the indicators available for new tests by simply updating their PES app. With this ability PES can continue to evolve with the industry and the users needs without any hardware changes.

From biological to physical and chemical indicators, the system offers data from crucial indicators of soil health such as microbial biomass, organic matter content, and nutrient levels including phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) to name a few. Additionally, its ability to operate directly in the field provides unparalleled flexibility in terms of location and scheduling. With each cassette housing 100 sensors, users can sample multiple fields multiple times without the need for extensive equipment or laboratory analysis. The cassette, the only consumable component of the system, effortlessly winds on a fresh sensor for each new test, ensuring reliability and convenience.

The integration of GPS technology adds an extra layer of utility to the PES system. By recording the precise location of each test, users can track changes in soil health over time and evaluate the effectiveness of their management practices. This makes the PES tool perfect for establishing baselines and trend data, making the information collected suitable for SFI and other reporting schemes to verify soil health improvement. These features empower users to make informed decisions, guiding them towards strategies that promote long-term soil sustainability and crop productivity.

By democratizing access to advanced soil assessment technologies, PES Technologies is empowering users and fostering a sustainable future for generations to come. As the agricultural landscape continues to evolve, PES Technologies stands at the forefront, driving innovation and excellence in soil health measurement.

PES Technologies will be launching their product this Spring, and will be exhibiting at both Cereals and Groundswell. To book a demo, please get in touch via enquiries@pestechnologies.com and to secure a unit and put your name on the pre-order list  for delivery in September please use sales@pestechnologies.com

To see the unit in action check out this video:

https://youtu.be/HasrJiTwhts