The Soil Tech Project – Translating Soil Science into Digital Soil Management Tools for Agronomists and Land Managers

Andrea Koch1, Sam Duncan2

1 Andrea Koch Agtech Pty Ltd, 73 Kallaroo Road, Riverview, NSW, 2066,,

2 FarmLab, UNE SMART Region Incubator Level 2, W40 UNE Business School, Armidale, NSW, 2351,,


The Soil Tech Project is a collaborative project aimed at translating existing University of Sydney soil science into a suite of digital soil management applications for agronomists using User Experience Design and Agile Development. The partnership team of soil scientists, developers, agronomists and project manager are working across six development cycles over three years, to translate the science into code that is user centred, and field tested and ground truthed to provide innovative new approaches to soil management. The first development cycle is applying Latin Hypercube Sampling to defined sets of publicly available data, to create contiguous zones across a farm and/or within a paddock. The application then suggests a soil sampling design that ground truths these zones, using fewer samples than would normally be required to identify zones. The application has been field tested by agronomists. Development of this first tool will be completed by August 2019. The overall approach used in the Soil Tech Project is being observed and documented using an Action Research framework, in order to evaluate and replicate this innovative approach to translation of science into digital applications.




The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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