Field Mapping

Our agronomist friends from eastern Nebraska had work to do on our side of the state, so we got to see them several times this month!

They’d been this way before but got a much bigger taste of things because they had drive all over the place and through all sorts of fields.  They observed the following about western Nebraska compared to eastern Nebraska.

1. A lack of houses

2. A lack of towns

3. A lack of trees

4. A lack of partial pivots

5. A lack of well known stores (HyVee, Target)

6. An abundance of tribulus terrestris

7. More sand

The west also seemed to be against them in many different ways on their endeavor. They think they’ll drive through Kansas the next time they go to Colorado to avoid western Nebraska.

They were here to do some soil mapping by driving a special sensor all over fields. It rested in this bed IMG_7205

which sat in one of these two “sleds”



that were pulled by this little vehicle. IMG_7204

The sensor sends out three electromagnetic frequencies that go to specific depths (e.g., 14,000 goes 3 ft, 12,000 goes 6 ft). As they come back out of the soil, the machine records them and gives a measurement of the conductivity of the soil… or something like that. I’m sure you could ask Aaron a question on twitter to make actual sense of it all.

It provides the farmers with a map they can use to help get the most out of their field. If they have a smart pivot and smart tractor equipment they can do variable rate irrigation, plant different amounts in different parts of the field and fertilize more or less. Talk to your nearest agronomist if you really want to understand what’s going on here.

Here’s what the map of the pivot Brad farms looks like. The purple part is sandier soil.

Field MapSo our friends left this morning. Their equipment looked about as good as they felt about working in western Nebraska.


That’s not mud. It’s what happens when you drive through a field with cattle in it.

IMG_7317Notice they’re still smiling. You’re looking at quality people, hard workers with excellent character, great friends. We hope they’ll come back.

5 thoughts on “Field Mapping

  1. Smart folks, your agronomist friends, I had noticed all those things as well, and on the second day my pickup looked like that instrument. 😉

    You know what though, Julie, this (other than the way I remember western North Dakota, maybe) is the best place I’ve ever been. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Before and After Field Mapping | Small Town Nebraska

  3. Pingback: Harvest in Eastern Nebraska | Small Town Nebraska

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