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John Deere Field Connect System Helps Producers Monitor Soil Moisture (Nov 02, 2012)
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With water management becoming an increasingly important factor in crop production, John Deere has introduced Field Connect to provide site-specific water management data for facilitating the decision-making process surrounding irrigation practices. With site-specific information, producers are able to efficiently utilize irrigation inputs, which can result in fuel savings and additional yield potential.  The Field Connect system continuously logs soil moisture data from probes installed in fields and transmits the data to a website that users can access remotely.

Nicholas Shafer, product manager for the John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, says John Deere Field Connect is a fully integrated system that includes three different probe options, solar panel, as well as both a satellite and cellular data connection. Field-specific soil moisture data are transmitted to a secure website for viewing, and users can program the system to receive alerts based on set parameters.  

"John Deere Field Connect features multiple capacitance sensors placed at specific depths for measuring volumetric soil moisture levels," Shafer says. "The Field Connect gateway unit logs the moisture data from each sensor, stores it and transmits it to the John Deere Field Connect Web application. When customers access the data on the website, they can select from a variety of graph types to view the data."

Field Connect graphs soil moisture readings at the individual sensor level (soil depth) and over the entire monitored soil profile, and shows water movement within the profile over time. The system can be customized to each field depending on the type of crops grown, soil type and water management objectives of each customer.  Producers will be able to integrate the data from John Deere Field Connect with yield, soil type, fertility and other agronomic information to more effectively optimize the productivity of each field.

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