February 8, 2016 — OnLink has formed a strategic partnership with Soil Scout, a new, breakthrough in-ground wireless soil sensor provider that is being introduced to the North American market at this week’s Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
Soil Scout, with headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, features sensors which are wireless, maintenance-free in-ground and have a longer battery life. Soil Scout will be implemented into OnLink’s cloud-based operating platform which was released in 2015 and has already gained traction in North America with iconic golf facilities, top 100 courses and leading golf course management companies. OnLink also integrates with other leading soil sensor providers, including Spectrum Technologies and Stevens Water.
“We welcome innovative and new technologies to our platform, products that provide more valuable data to the superintendent in a user-friendly manner,” said Walt Norley, the founder and CEO of OnLink. “Numerous cutting-edge product offerings come from the larger agricultural markets. Like OnLink, Soil Scout is a by-product of that industry where they have been successful. I am impressed with the Soil Scout offering that features a highly accurate sensor for moisture, temperature and salinity levels combined with a robust wireless transmission range from subsurface to above ground and a long battery life for the in-ground sensor.
“We believe that the overall market is served well with advancements in soil-sensing technologies and especially with OnLink customers who correlate soil sensor data with other key operational data points that lead to more efficient water management.”
Soil Scout’s development parallels OnLink’s origin within the agricultural industry in Finland. The agricultural heritage is displayed by Johannes Tiusanen, Soil Scout’s Chief Science Officer, who is a 19th generation farmer dating back to the 1500s and a globally cited expert on soil science. Soil Scout has worked with budget-conscious golf courses in Finland to more easily provide wireless solutions for watering practices and also create extended golf course opening windows in a much shorter playing season. The ability to provide instant, accurate and long-term data wirelessly, regardless of season or conditions, offers courses the chance to conserve water and be assured about watering practices and conditioning.
“We look forward to working with OnLink and to developing opportunities in the North American market,” said Jonathan Skelly, the Chief Executive Officer of Soil Scout. “Water usage is the biggest agenda issue in golf course maintenance. U.S. courses use more than 2 billion gallons of water per day and between 30 to 50 percent is being wasted. We offer both the ability for superintendents to be more efficient with their resources from a financial perspective and to be more ecologically responsible.
“We have seen a lot of aggregators of cloud services, but OnLink’s solution adds a new level of intelligence to the available information so that superintendents can proactively manage their golf courses.”
Some facts about Soil Scout:
–Sensors operate up to 12 feet below the ground surface, a breakthrough depth
–Permanence of the sensor data is available 365/24 for every hour up to 20 years
–Allows courses to make water and energy savings of as much as 50 percent
–Less intrusive to courses because of the depth and lifespan
–Extended battery life and wireless range capabilities
–A looking glass through snow and soil surface to realize earlier fall season openings