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(St. Louis Public Radio) ‘Precision Ag’ promised a farming revolution. It’s coming, just slowly

June 13, 2024

For 20 years, Pablo Sobron sought a better way to learn exactly what was in the soil, rock or any other substance on Mars.

Instead of sampling and laboratory analysis — the old way of soil testing — scientists began to use lasers and sensors to get high precision data quickly. Eventually, that led Sobron to think the same type of technology could work on Earth, particularly farms.

“The idea is to do exactly what we do on Mars, which is drive and, without stopping, get real time measurements of every square inch if you want to. As small as you want,” he said.

Impossible Sensing, the company Sobron founded in St. Louis, is now working on the second iteration of a prototype, designed to be mounted to the back of a planter. It will help farmers see exactly what’s happening in their soil in real time as they drive through their fields, revealing information about nutrient levels, soil health, water conditions and other factors around individual plants. Read more!