Trimble announced today that it has acquired the assets of privately-held C3 of Madison, Wis. The acquisition will enable Trimble to provide unique soil information as well as decision recommendations to farmers’ trusted advisors—such as agronomists, Trimble resellers or Ag retail suppliers. Farmers will be able to view the C3 data and recommendations from their trusted advisor on the Connected Farm dashboard, a Web portal that provides one centralized location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations. To align with Trimble’s brand agnostic strategy, the data can be applied to all manufacturer equipment types. Financial terms were not disclosed.

C3 combines crop information with detailed soil data to enable a more complete assessment of the site-related factors that impact crop yield, quality and health. The C3 Soil Information System (SIS) solution is a collection of innovative tools and techniques for digital, 3-D mapping of soil characteristics—analyzing 120 unique soil and topographic properties. With SIS, it’s now possible to precisely map the top four feet of the earth’s surface using above and below ground sensors combined with GPS. The data is processed with a series of algorithms resulting in more than 60 precise 3-D soil models for physical and chemical soil characteristics including root zone depth, soil texture, plant available water, compaction depth and severity, macro and micro nutrient levels, soil nutrient holding capacity, and salt and toxicity concentrations.

“With the combination of C3 technologies, the Connected Farm and Trimble’s recent acquisitions of RainWave and IQ Irrigation, Trimble is able to provide a farmer’s trusted advisor with a unique toolset,” said Joe Denniston, vice president for Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “For example, they will now have access to detailed soil analysis, rainfall totals, precise irrigation amounts, as-applied seed and fertilizer rates, weather forecast and decision recommendations, enabling them to provide better answers to their clients, and leading to more precise farming. This can result in input savings, increased yield, and environmental benefits such as reduced nitrogen leaching into waterways as a result of more precise irrigation plans and input applications.”

“Trimble’s acquisition of C3 brings leading-edge technologies to Ag service providers worldwide,” said Dan Rooney, CEO and founder of C3. “Improving agricultural productivity through smarter management is essential to meeting future food demands, and we believe that C3 technologies will be an important part of the Trimble solutions that help address the challenge.”

SIS enables farmers to:

  • Improve crop quality by assessing the variability within a field and treating different zones according to their unique needs
  • Increase output from sub-par field areas by revealing the factors that are limiting yield, which enables the farmer to design a strategy to bring all field areas to maximum growing capacity
  • Optimize the use of water, fertilizer and soil amendments by targeting applications
  • Design, prepare and manage fields in a way that optimizes productivity
  • Implement more sustainable farming methods by incorporating tools to conserve natural resources, reduce chemical inputs and restore native fertility

By providing a greater understanding of the physical and chemical characterization of the soil, including how inputs move through the soil, agronomists and other Ag service providers will be able to help farmers implement a more effective solution to resolve the unique challenges of each area of their field. For example, if a field has areas of high soil compaction, the farmer may be over watering or over fertilizing to accommodate for areas of low productivity without realizing that the main issue is lack of root expansion. SIS helps service providers pinpoint problem areas, develop a more effective strategy for improving output, and provide a recommendation such as the exact depth and area to break up hard soil.

Additional C3 products include PurePixel Vegetation Mapping software and Agriculture Forensics solutions. PurePixel provides processing of vegetative aerial imaging for crop health analysis, and removes interfering factors such as soil, cover crops and shade which leads to vastly improved interpretability and analytics. Agricultural Forensics uses a combination of proprietary technologies, SIS and PurePixel to reveal the relationship between a crop and its environment. This combination of technologies produces detailed maps of more than 100 site and crop characteristics for analysis, which provides a better understanding of the complex factors that are contributing to the problem (as most crop yield or quality issues are caused by a combination of site characteristics).