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31 July


Toyota create a service that analyzes farm soil with optical sensors

It can get the results for 1-2 week

Photo: Shimbun

/NOVOSTIVL/ Toyota Motor Corp. has started testing a service that analyzes farm soil with optical sensors, allowing farmers to strategically distribute fertilizer to increase crop yields. This article appeared in the Chunichi Shimbun.

The experiment in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, uses the automaker’s so-called Toyota Production System, which was developed to maximize production efficiency based on data analysis.

By clarifying soil composition and offering suggestions on fertilizer amount and other important factors needed to make the best soil for growing crops, Toyota hopes to make it easier for farmers to pass their expertise down to younger generations.

The data is then combined with GPS data to create a map showing the distribution of 30 soil components related to crop growth, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Through the analysis, Toyota can offer diagnoses and soil improvement plans that can tell clients which crops are best suited for their land and which fertilizers they should use to raise yields.

Farmers who want their soil diagnosed usually have to gather samples from several locations in their fields during the offseason and send them out for analysis. In some cases, it can take a couple of months to get the results, which can be too late to make adjustments.

In addition, the technology makes it possible for all of one’s farmland to be measured thoroughly, allowing farmers to calculate exactly how much fertilizer is needed. This means the technology can help reduce costs and reduce the impact on the environment.