Cutting edge technology enables The Field Fund to maximize our effectiveness while minimizing our footprint and our spending
Drone photography enables The Field Fund team to affordably and effectively determine which parts of each field need specific maintenance. These photos track grass quality improvements, identify wear patterns, and monitor irrigation. A generous grant from MV Savings Bank paid for our first year of photos. As shown in the example here (taken shortly after we partnered with the town in spring 2018), on soccer fields, the center part of the field and goal mouths receive the highest use, and therefore require more maintenance than the periphery to keep it safe. Whereas traditional field maintenance calls for the same “prescription” for the entire field, these bird’s eye views allow us to identify exactly what each part of the field requires – and tailor our decompaction, overseeding, and fertilization accordingly. This evidence-based approach saves time, resources, and money, while producing better, more consistent results.
POGO is a portable, wireless tool that collects data to support better decision making for Vineyard fields. All POGO hardware is based on a patented soil sensor called HydraProbe™, the most scientifically researched soil sensor in the world. The HydraProbe™ sensor simultaneously collects soil water content, soil salinity, and field surface temperature. Using the POGO, all data points are combined into a GPS map that provides a snap shot of field conditions in real-time.
For example, see the soil water content map to the right. This map was generated based on over 40 data points taken on one of the Oak Bluffs School fields taken with our Pogo. Variance in water content comes from differently levels of compaction and/or organic matter. Based on this water content map, groundskeepers could (1) adjust irrigation settings differently in the different areas and (2) use maintenance to address higher compaction and/or organic matter levels in some areas.
Hydropoint WeatherTRAK ET Pro3
The Field Fund uses HydroPoint’s Weathertrak ET Pro3 controller at the newly renovated Oak Bluffs School fields. This powerful tool enables us to maximize water conservation by factoring in zone-specific characteristics including soil-type, grass-type, sprinkler-type, slope, sun exposure and more. Paired with the new non-potable well and irrigation system The Field Fund installed at the school, the system is highly efficient and appropriate given the high demand’s on the Island’s aquifer.