Niagara College’s Horticultural and Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC) is proud to officially launch our latest success story video with SoilOptix®.
SoilOptix®, a high-definition top-soil mapping company in Ontario, uses precision agriculture technology to help farmers understand and improve the distribution of nutrient and texture in their fields.
Before working with HESIC’s experts, SoilOptix®’s previous process took a data analyst about eight hours of work. Now, it takes less than an hour, increasing their efficiency by a factor of eight. The HESIC team is helping to get this down to seconds while expanding the technology and data automation abilities. The College partnership has enabled the company to grow rapidly in several directions. For example, in 2019, they were able to map about 110,000 acres; in 2022, they increased that to over 500,000 acres, with 2023 targets set at approximately 800,000 acres. SoilOptix® has been able to double the company year-over-year by a factor of two, or 5.6 per cent growth by month – an uncommon growth pattern for many businesses.
The collaboration between SoilOptix® and HESIC started locally in Ontario, but now has sustainability impacts with an international reach.
A new partnership between Hutchinsons and Syngenta now makes the SoilOptix® system available under the Interra® Scan brand across 51 countries in Europe. The rollout of Interra® Scan SoilOptix® sensors will begin in Eastern Europe with Ukraine and Poland and gradually move into western Europe over the next several years.
Rising costs and tight margins, combined with growing societal pressure around sustainability, mean it’s more important than ever to give the soil what it needs by applying inputs precisely and accurately. This is what makes the technology and data automation projects in this collaboration so important.
Beyond NC graduates directly benefitting (6 have been hired by SoilOptix® so far), the College continues to benefit as well, securing direct funds from SoilOptix® in a 5-year agreement worth $50,000 per year, to have the HESIC team continue working on the above-noted improvements. This allows more students to become experienced grads ready to tackle the agricultural challenges of food supply issues of the future.
Head over to Research & Innovation’s YouTube page to watch the full video.