The Benefits of Reshaping Fields
OptiSurface is a GPS land-forming design software that global sales manager Preston Marthey says involves field topography and three dimensional imagery.
“We use high-accuracy GPS to control the blade height of earth moving machines.”
OptiSurface was designed by an Australian farmer who was trying to fix ponding issues in his fields. Marthey says the farmer, Graeme Cox, was moving too much dirt through various land-leveling projects.
“Cutting into way too much good topsoil just to handle a few little problem areas. That’s why this was developed. He (Cox) just wanted a simple solution to be able to get the dirt moved and fix his ponding issues.”
Yield variability depends largely on having too little or too much water and having it in the wrong place. Marthey tells Brownfield earth works isn’t meant to replace subsoil water management.
“On the surface we have ponding issues, regardless of whether you’ve tiled the field or not. What most people have done is used surface ditching. Ditching is good, but it’s going to be a very big pain. You can take out valuable crop area, and you can also restrict the flow of your machinery back into the field.”
He says if an interested farmer contacts OptiSurface, the company will evaluate one or two fields.
“We’ll show them what their existing problem areas are and how we would take care of that with our precision land forming. What we have shown people is, because of GPS and 3D land forming, we can do things that we couldn’t before. Now with land forming going with the general slope of your area, and using instantly variable grades in order to accomplish those goals; you can get the results that you want at a cost that’s not going to kill you.”
OptiSurface offers the design software that prescribes the plan for the farmer’s equipment to follow and Marthey sees opportunities for custom operators who can move dirt.
“We go back to my end of the world in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi where having earth-moving contractors is just second nature. It’s not very prevalent in the rest of the United States, but I’m starting to see more and more people who…maybe tiling contractors moving into surface earth works.”
According to Marthey, OptiSurface has been used on over 400,000 acres worldwide. Find out more online at OptiSurface.com.Listen to the audio recording in this link.