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How to use Soil Module?

Soil Module
5 mins read |

Soil chemical analysis is one of the most important data layers in crop farming. Typically, the soil information is coming from agrochemical laboratories analyzing field soil samples collected based on a grid or zonal approach.

The number of soil characteristics in a concrete file can vary from 5-10 macronutrients such as Nitrogen(N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic matter (OM) content to 40-50 with all micronutrient properties.

How to use it?

You can upload soil sampling files into GeoPard Agriculture and get an easy-readable heatmap visualization of each attribute in the soil sampling file.

In addition, you can delineate management zones based on any attribute, compare them with other layers like historical crop productivity and build variable rate fertilizer prescription files.

Moreover, GeoPard assists with the proper planning of zonal soil sampling. You can plan your soil sampling points and route based on GeoPard multi-year zones that reflect historical crop development pattern.

  Soil mapping as a tool for agricultural management

For the GeoPard team, the additional module with soil characteristics not only supports yet another powerful data layer but also is a step forward to cross-layer and multi-layer analytics.

Note that you are free to build own derivatives based on GeoPard analytics.

Many thanks to Isaac Hickerson (Data Manager at Hutson Precision Ag Team) and Jason Diller (Precision Ag Manager at Mercer Landmark, Inc.) for providing soil sampling datasets.

How to read a soil map?

Soil maps are valuable tools that provide crucial information about the characteristics and properties of the land beneath our feet. By learning how to read and interpret these maps, farmers, gardeners, land planners, and researchers can make informed decisions regarding land use, crop selection, fertilization strategies, and soil management practices. 

1. Understanding the Legend

The legend or key of a soil map is the key to deciphering the various symbols, colors, and patterns used to represent different soil types and properties. It typically provides a detailed explanation of the symbols used and their corresponding meanings.

  6 Ways to improve soil quality

Familiarize yourself with the legend before proceeding, as it serves as a guide throughout the interpretation process.

2. Locating Your Area of Interest

Once you have a soil map in hand, locate your specific area of interest on the map. This could be your farm, garden, or any land you wish to analyze.

Take note of the map’s scale, which determines the level of detail provided. Zoom in or out to the appropriate scale to gain a clearer view of the soil units in your area.

3. Interpreting Soil Units

Each soil unit on the map represents a distinct soil type or a combination of soil characteristics. Pay attention to the boundaries between different soil units, as they indicate changes in soil properties.

Commonly depicted soil properties include texture, organic matter content, drainage, pH level, fertility, and water-holding capacity.

By understanding these properties, you can determine how the soil will likely perform in terms of supporting plant growth and what management practices may be necessary.

  What is the process of soil testing?

4. Utilizing the Information

Once you have identified the soil units in your area and understood their properties, you can apply this knowledge to inform your decision-making processes.

Consider the specific needs of your plants or crop, the need of irrigation, fertilization, or other soil management practices based on the soil map information.


Reading a soil map is a skill that can greatly benefit farmers, gardeners, and land managers. By understanding the legend, interpreting soil units, and utilizing the information provided, you can make informed decisions to optimize land use.

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