b"Moisture Sensors for LessSoiltech Wireless has a soil moisture sensor which is cheaper than competitors and can do more than just monitor water. BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONEHSAN SOLTAN MAY not have an ag background, but he did work in tech and spend time in his wifes home state of Idaho where her mother worked at a potato packing plant.I got to meet a lot of growers, agronomists, crop consultants. I just learned about their life and about some of their pain points. I decided that I could build a product for them, because it seemed like there was a big gap in the market, Soltan, CEO and founder of Soiltech Wireless, explains in a phone interview.Growers told Soltan of how they would drive hundreds of miles a day to check soil moisture in their fields, and while there were soil moisture probes available, they were costly and not the most reliable devices. Soltan teamed up with a farmer to combine his tech knowledge and the farmers ag expertise in order to develop an automatic, cost-effective wireless moisture detector in 2017the Soiltech Wireless sensor.The Soiltech sensor is a yellow device which is buried under the soil at the start of the growing season with the logo facing towards the sky. It has moisture, temperature, humidity, GPS and bruising sensors on it, the sensors are located in the silver bands A Soiltech Wireless sensor is buried in a potato field. surrounding the device. Throughout the growing season, it sendsPHOTO: CB CREATIVE FOR SOILTECH WIRELESSdata back to a phone application over a low power cellular data called LTE Cat-M1 and NB-IoTwhich can operate at significantThe first thing that impressed me was they worked, and they distances from cellphone towers. read out consistently. We kind of truthed them with my water At the end of the season, the device is harvested with the restconsultants guy and so when we got a reading, we felt confident of the potato crop and goes into storage to monitor the crop untilthat it was correct, Bauscher says in a phone interview.its shipped. If its planted in a non-potato field the SoiltechLast year, Soiltech Wireless had its first large-scale commercial sensor can be dug up before or after harvest. It holds a chargelaunch across the United States with expansion outside to throughout the season and needs to be recharged only once eachCanada and into South America and Europe happening this year. year, with a full charge taking 12 hours to complete. The devices are available directly through Soiltech Wireless with The sensor requires an annual subscription of US$79 for thesome agronomists and dealers who Soiltech Wireless works with data services. Each device costs US$420 to buythe first-yearalso selling them.costs $499 for both the physical device and data subscription. Moving forward, Soiltech Wireless plans to add more software Randy Bauscher with B&H Farming in south central Idahoautomation features, which will be able to be updated remotely started using Soiltech Wireless in 2018 after being approachedon devices. They are also planning on adding additional sensors by Soltan, who had heard about him through a mutual friend.to the devices, such as Co2, EC and Ph monitors. Soiltech Bauscher had used other soil moisture probes over the years, butWireless is also looking at partnering with pivot companies to always found they were lacking in data or didnt work correctly. connect data for irrigation.The first year Bauscher used around five of the SoiltechWe're not in the habit of restricting data or holding it back. We sensors and was impressed by the results. Over the next fewwant to work with pivot providers to help growers automate their growing seasons, he continued increasing the number of devicesoperation, we want to work with storage providers to allow them used and expanded the devices into other fields on his farm. Thisto see what is going on in their cellars, Soltan explains. We year he plans to have at least one device in each field on his farm,want to make it simple, so that growers don't have to log into 25 with some having multiples. different appsthey can log into one and see everything. 30SPUDSMART.COM Summer 2021"