Tavistock Company Receives Agricultural Award Of Excellence

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The local soil testing service was honoured for adopting technology from Europe that improves soil sampling process in Canada. They were among the six winners who received this particular honour, and the first from Oxford.

TAVISTOCK - SoilOptix Inc of Tavistock was the recipient of the Honourable Mention Award today.

The local soil testing service was honoured for adopting technology from Europe that improves soil sampling process in Canada.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman made the announcement.

"It was SoilOptix and we wanted to present them with the Honourable Mention Award Excellence in Agriculture. They have developed a computer program for digitalized soil sampling, so they can go in the field and actually soil sample and tell within so many feet exactly what the nutrients are in the soil and what is required for the plant that's going in and they can put in the map, put into procedural agricultural equipment and then they can plant the crop, putting only the nutrients required for that specific place in the field for growing that crop. So it's a win-win for the farmers who are planting it because they don't waste fertilizer and they only put on exactly what that plant will need and it's a a big win for the environment because we're not putting on fertilizer that's going into our environment because it wasn't consumed by the plant."

Hardeman says it benefits the agricultural community.

"I think it's a benefit because any time that you can come up with innovation that makes it more economical to produce something, obviously if we can precisely put the fertilizer where the nutrient is needed then obviously that means you have to use less to produce the same bushel of corn and when you can produce the same bushel of corn for less money that benefits everyone; the farmer producing it, the consumer consuming it. Everybody benefits from doing it in the most cost-effective and efficient manner and this will go in a long way into helping that happen. Everyone is not yet using precision agriculture equipment to produce their crops but the more advantages that you can get from it, the more likely the industry will be able to move in that direction that everyone starts doing precision agriculture, as opposed to the way we've done it before. It's just finding the soil samples on the field, that's what we've put on the whole field and this here is will say, 'No, no. We can just put it right where the plant is going to need it.'"

SoilOptix Inc were among the six winners who received this particular honour, and the first from Oxford.

Hardeman says a committee which features experts in the agricultural field select the recipients for these awards.

Among the other benefits about the technology include:

- More productive and efficient, as it provides soil test results at 355 data points per acre versus the conventional one to two tests per acre. This helps farmers make the best decisions and helps them with soil stewardship.

- Less invasive versus conventional processes (grid sampling) that are highly intensive, resulting in improved soil conservation.

Honourable Mention Award is one of the Excellence in Agriculture Awards, which recognizes agri-food businesses, individuals and organizations and their contributions to Ontario's agri-food sector. 

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