The Nebraska-based CropMetrics uses a combination of soil sensors and cloud-based analytics to develop real-time irrigation plans for farmers based on current conditions. CropMetrics has been around for 10 years and manages half a million acres of U.S. farmland .
As we’ve written before, CropX has it’s own digital soil monitoring system for farmers:
There are two components to the CropX product: a hardware sensor and cloud-based software. The CropX sensor is a screw-shaped device that farmers literally screw into the ground. This screw shape is actually one of the ways CropX differentiates itself in the soil analyzing space because the threads of the device give it more surface area than straight tube-shaped sensors. Placing sensors on the threads of a CropX allows water to pass through the sensor not just around it.
As water passes through these sensors, information is sent up to the cloud where CropX’s software analyzes the soil for moisture levels, temperature and electroconductivity to determine salinity levels. Results are sent to a mobile app where the farmer can better manage nutrient management and fertilizer application.
CropX also incorporates aerial imagery, weather data and topography maps to help analyze conditions and advise farmers on appropriate actions for their particular plots of land. The promise of IoT tools like CropX and CropMetrics is their ability to provide data to farmers so they can waste less water, use less fertilizer and better optimize their food growing operations.
There are actually a few soil sensors competing for a place on the farm. Teralytics monitors nitrogen, phosphate and potassium levels in the soil for precise fertilizing, and Arable measures both soil moisture as well as ambient temperatures around the crops.
CropX, which is based in Tel-Aviv, Israel, raised $10 million in August of last year, and has raised nearly $30 million in total. CropMetrics has raised just $1.5 million. CropX said the acquisition will expand its U.S. footprint and product offerings.