SoilOptix® produces the most detailed high-definition soil mapping sensors that can accurately map over 25 different soil layers, including macro and micronutrients, pH, organic matter, texture, and plant available water. We provide growers and crop consultants with high-resolution soil information to enable them to make the most informed on-farm decisions, resulting in more sustainable farming practices and a better-producing crop to feed the world.
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in the AG Industry. My family owned and operated a dairy farm in Southwestern Ontario. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering and worked for various companies, including John Deere, where I worked in product development and gained a lot of valuable insight into the technical side of the industry. My parents and I started our original company, Practical Precision, where we were a dealer for a number of precision ag technologies like Raven, Trimble, etc. We worked closely with local farmers to utilize these various technologies and offered services for their farms. This is where we really began to see the gaps in information that farmers were getting. So when we came across the SoilOptix® technology, we saw the potential that it held for providing farmers with an in-depth analysis of their soils. We knew we needed to make this more readily available for growers in our area and eventually across the globe. We wanted to empower farmers with as much information as possible, so they could make the most informed decisions to benefit their growing operations.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I would advise myself to remain open-minded and attempt to be as nimble as possible. With the unforeseen event of the pandemic and its ripple effects, the reaction to pivot and adjust the way our business operates today is a reflection of one of our successes.
What problem does your business solve?
Traditional methods of soil analysis have historically been unreliable and have holes or gaps in information, resulting in missed opportunities to optimize inputs and maximize yields. While we don’t claim to have a silver-bullet solution by any means, as soil is extremely complex, we are raising the bar from, say, just relying on lab samples alone by offering the most in-depth look with over 335 data points per acre and individual soil information layers.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We were inspired to develop and offer SoilOptix® services because there has been a growing global appetite for advanced soil mapping from both retailers and growers who were looking for more out of their soil tests. We wanted to provide growers with the most insight into their fields and help them to identify pockets of opportunity within those fields to enhance the variable applications.
What is your magic sauce?
We differ from our competition in a number of ways; the technology used within our sensors allows us to be more flexible in-field, and our data output is unmatched in terms of density and usability. But our magic sauce is made up of a few factors. First, it’s in our IP, which is our processes and algorithms with which we are able to model out and produce our final data deliverable. This has been handcrafted and developed over the years and through many, many acres processed. But our magic is also in the team we have built. We have a young, vibrant team who works hard and continues to push forward to further develop and improve our processes. We strive to never be “sitting on our hands” and will always be looking through the windshield at what’s coming next.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Global domination..? Maybe not quite, but we are planning and working to be the global leader in soil mapping, and we are making strides to get closer and closer to that goal.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge has been adapting to a rapid pace of growth without tripping and falling. “Bridging the gaps” between each upward leap has definitely been a strengthening moment for me.
How can people get involved?
You can find us online, along with a full list of our current service providing partners and contact info at www.soiloptix.com.
To connect with us directly, you can email [email protected] or phone us at +1(519)902-7645.