After decades of monoculture farming, extensive use of fertilizers and climate change the Soil Health is at an historic low. As a result our food security is at risk while crops are getting less nutritious. Farmers face Soil organic Carbon decreases of 70% and the Soil Biodiversity is under threat, which makes their soils less resilient and with very little water retention.
To tackle this we are developing new monitoring solutions for Soil Carbon and Soil Life. Together with Crop Monitor they form part of our Soil Health Suite, which enables better practices to turn around the decline and improve Soil Health, farm resilience and food security. Above all, our solutions will finally unlock the Carbon Market promoting soil to be one of the more valuable assets for farmers.
Soil Health is “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans” (USDA). Now it is recognized that Soil-Ecosystem Services provide economic returns, the value of this changes as the level of the asset, Soil Health, changes. To be able to quantify this value a new set of indicators is needed. In the figure below (inspired by Lehmann et al. Nature 554, 2020) it is shown that all four pillars of Soil Health - Water, Climate Change, Plant Production & Human Health - are enhanced with the increase of Soil Organic Carbon and (functional) Soil Biodiversity. The microbial biomass and activity, aggregation and infiltration will also increase.
Until now there is no good and practical way to measure and monitor Soil Carbon and Soil Life. We offer a total solution for monitoring Soil Health. A new technology for Carbon and Soil Life measurements in the field. Our monitoring techniques are designed to inform (agricultural) soil management decisions. It is focused on key Soil Health characteristics: soil life, carbon, moisture, and density.
Better measurement for better management
There is a lack of widely agreed-upon, cost-effective methods and standards for measurement, reporting, and verification of biodiversity and carbon in the soil. Current practices are not sufficient to address the need for the integral approach of Soil Health. To manage soils sustainably we offer ground-breaking solutions for making the best Soil Management decisions.
HAL24K Agri is developing a total solution based on three necessary technologies to accommodate the EU criteria to enable to reach the environmental goals by 2030, open up the Carbon Market and improve Soil Health.
1) An AI-based-in-the-field Soil Life Monitor
2) An in-the-fieldpatent-pending Carbon Monitor which can measure, report and verify carbon in the soil
3) A sensors and remote-sensing based Crop Monitor
ALL HAL24K Agri AI modelling and model management is based on DIMENSION™, a data science platform to combine and model data and monitor model results.
‘‘Carbon measurements are expensive and have low reliability”
EU Carbon Farming Report 2021
Carbon Monitoring is Key
The Carbon Market is waiting for a device which can measure, remeasure and validate the carbon content in the soil. Our patent-pending new technology is going to provide this and will enable to measure and track carbon depth profiles accurately in the field and verify if carbon credit contracts have been executed properly. A PoC is showing the technology has great potential needs to be scaled and accelerated to catch the carbon wave of new rules and opportunities. The EU recently drafted criteria for carbon credits for carbon storage in the soil. It needs to be measured/determined, it has to be long term, it has to be new tech and it can not harm biodiversity. The latter opens up the opportunity to combine our new Soil Life technology with our Carbon Probe technology and monitor both Carbon and Soil Life in the field ultimately benefiting Soil Health. The Paris agreement aims for NetZero emissions by 2050 and by 2030 the first milestones need to be met. This opens up an enormous market and opportunity for our Carbon Probe which we envision to become the standard in carbon measurements.
Carbon Monitoring USPs
✔️ In-field measurement with Soil Carbon Profile Probe
✔️ Reliable and verified measurements
✔️ Carbon profile measurement to a Soil depth of 90 cm
✔️ Soil moisture content and penetration resistance included
✔️ Data visualisation and modelling in Carbon Monitor portal
✔️ IP protected with two patents pending
Soil and Water
With the increase of 1% of soil organic matter (carbon) the water retention capacity of the soil increases by
Soil Life Monitoring
To monitor the (functional) biodiversity, we have identified a new technology, known in the medical world, which enables us to study and identify much more Soil Life per sample and analyse the data using our AI/CV models. We will also bring Soil Life sampling to the field rather than analysis in a lab. The technology will yield much more data and will be much faster than old-lab-based microscopy. We started modelling microorganisms and microfauna. Also, we will take ‘broad landscape’ samples to follow Soil Life from different plots over the seasons to understand how different types of crops and farming affect Soil Life and vice versa.
“The big problem in measuring Soil biodiversity is that we only work with derived parameters, not with objective measurements”
Jan de Ruyter – ABN AMRO Feb 2023
We offer crop monitoring services to visualize data and AI modelling results. Here one can visualized combined data and AI-modelling outputs for a complete view of the status of your crop/fields, get recommendations and browse through long-term monitoring. Our first customers use drone and satellite images to e.g. monitor growth progress, get recommendations, discover diseases and estimate plant densities and yields.
Mobile Soil Health Lab
This is how we envision bringing our Soil Health Suite to the field, a Soil Health Lab-in-a-Van, equipped with our Soil Life Monitor and our Carbon Monitor to take as many samples as necessary and to do meaningful analyzes in real time at the place where it matters, right in the field.
We will also include a penetrologger for bulk density measurements and hydro sensors for soil moisture content for a broad Soil Health picture. Computers on board of the field unit will send the information directly to our cloud platform for processing.
Cooperation with Royal Eijkelkamp
We are proud of our relationship with Royal Eijkelkamp.
This renowned manufacturing company with a track record of more than one hundred years in soil and water monitoring supports us on a technological level. Essential parameters linked to Soil Life and Soil Carbon, such as bulk density, penetration resistance, soil moisture content and more are their core business. This collaboration provides fundamental knowledge support and ensures acceleration opportunities.
Our experience with SOLISCA
Our knowledge on Soil Life measurement is built on practical experience. On the SOLISCA platform developed by Royal Eijkelkamp 100+ analyses have been performed. These were then visualized in Soil Life Score Cards for sustainable agriculture. In projects, and in collaboration with a focus group, we determined key principles for Soil Life analysis for use in the field. On this foundation we are developing Soil Health and monitoring technology.