Frequently Asked Questions
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    Soil sampling with hand soil probes has worked well for many decades. What makes the Falcon system better?

    In a word – consistency. Just as most aspects of agriculture have benefited from automation, a machine that takes precise soil cores at the same depth every 15 feet, hour after hour, improves the quality of soil samples. Because soil samples are more precise and consistent, farmers are more confident in fertility recommendations. A human with a hand soil probe can’t match the quality of Falcon samples for long periods, no matter how hard they try.

    Click here to learn more about how Falcon’s consistency improves sample accuracy and repeatability and leads to superior fertility recommendations.

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    The Falcon seems like it will be able to collect more soil samples in a day than someone with a hand probe. How much more efficient is the Falcon compared to hand sampling?

    At 8 mph, which is in the mid-range of suggested operating speeds, the Falcon can collect, mix and bag a 15- to 30-core sample every 60 to 90 seconds. Compare that with your current sampling system to make your own judgment about improved efficiency. Ultimately the number of samples collected in a day depends on many factors, including field sizes, grid or zone sizes being sampled, distances between fields, field conditions and other factors.

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    Should I collect more soil cores per sample with Falcon than the typical 7 to 10 cores with a hand probe?

    The number of cores per sample is up to you. But since Falcon takes consistent cores so quickly (one every 1.3 seconds at 8 mph), collecting more cores with Falcon enhances sample quality by creating a more representative sample of the field, grid or zone.

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    How difficult is it to run the Falcon?

    If you can drive a pickup and use a smartphone or tablet computer, you’re ready to run Falcon with minimal training. The Falcon is self-contained and requires only a towing vehicle for operation in the field. The control software is built on a Windows platform, allowing you to control Falcon functions from the cab with a Windows operating device.

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    How physically demanding is operating the Falcon compared to the physical demands of taking cores with a hand probe?

    Operating the Falcon is not nearly as physically demanding as sampling with a hand probe. Most of time the Falcon operator enjoys the comfort of a climate-controlled cab. The most physically demanding part of operating the Falcon is getting out of the truck and removing and reloading the soil sample carousel, which typically weighs under 25 pounds when filled with 12 samples. Falcon literally takes the challenging physical work out of soil sampling.

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    Can soil become stuck in the Falcon probe?

    In most cases, soil drops from the probe when it rotates to a vertical position because of the probe’s conical profile. The stiff-bristled clean-out brush at the front of the machine also helps assure that soil is dislodged from the probe with each revolution of the collection drum. A non-stick Teflon-coated drum and probes are also available for operation in fields with a lot of “sticky” soil types.

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    Can I operate Falcon in the dark?

    Yes. An LED light on the Falcon e-box keeps the machine well-lit at night for continued remote monitoring with the video camera after dark. This allows operators to base operation decisions on field and environmental conditions, not limitations with equipment.

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    How is the Falcon transported between fields?

    The Falcon can be safely towed at normal road speeds attached directly to the towing vehicle. When switching from field to road operation, a safety pin is inserted to lock the drum in an upright position.

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    What is the difference between the Falcon Model 1000 and Model 5000?

    The Model 1000 includes all the capabilities you need for precise, efficient sampling, including an on-board computer with Falcon ServiceLink for remote diagnostics and software upgrades. The Model 5000 includes all Model 1000 features, plus GPS tracking, barcode integration, electronic data transfer and more.

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    What does Falcon cost?

    In the range of a well-equipped 4WD pickup. Contact us to determine the functions and model you need to optimize the Falcon’s value for your situation.