Automated Soil Sampler

OTT Case 07-016 | US Patent 8,051,725

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) sponsored development of this automated soil sampler after a small area of ground was found contaminated with potato cyst nematode in Southern Idaho in April 2006. Potato cyst nematodes are internationally recognized quarantine pests and considered the most devastating pests of potatoes due to annual worldwide yield losses estimated at 12.2%. In England approximately 75% of potato production land is now infested resulting in severe crop restrictions.

The sampler was designed to obtain samples from a plurality of locations across a field. The soil is collected in standard bags and the GPS location printed on the bag indicating where in the field the samples were collected from. Although sampling for potato nematode is the primary purpose for is device, it can be used in sampling soils of other agricultural products such as corn, soybean, wheat and others to monitor, spatial variability of grain quality, presence of disease and pests and others.