Integrity Soils x The Regen Platform: Soilmentor Setup Guide

Integrity Soils x The Regen Platform: Soilmentor Setup Guide

At home / office

1. Videos

Watch these videos for a walkthrough of using Soilmentor on your computer (web app) and phone (smartphone app). Please note that on the videos 'Fields' are 'Sites' and 'Sample sites' are 'Sample locations' on your Integrity Soils x The Regen Platform version of Soilmentor.

2. Download the Soilmentor smartphone app

1. If you have already downloaded a demo version of the Soilmentor smartphone app, delete this app
2. Go to app store and download the smartphone app for iPhone, or for Android
3. Login using the same username and the password you just set
4. Tap Admin
5. Tap Sync
6. If you’ve already created them on the web app (your computer), your sites will appear in the 'Sites & Biodiversity' section, and sample locations will appear in 'Sample Locations'. If you have not created them find instructions further down this page.

3. Add users

If you need to, create additional user accounts / logins for other people also using your Soilmentor account using these instructions:

1. Login to the web app on your computer, select 'Users' from the left hand side and then 'Add User'.
2. We recommend using an email address for the username - it makes it easier to recover forgotten passwords!
3. The new user will receive an email from Vidacycle with their username and a link to set their own password.
4. To edit users: Click ‘edit’ next to a particular user: you can deactivate their access or edit their details.

4. Choose Sites

Think about which sites you want to monitor. The first question to ask yourself is why am I monitoring my soils? Is it because you want to take baseline measurements and then monitor how the soil changes over time as you change management… or maybe you want to understand why some of your sites grow better crops than others?

- If you want to do a baseline for the whole farm choose a spread of sites under different management, e.g. permanent pasture, grass ley: mowing, grass ley: grazed, herbal ley etc
- If you are changing management and want to do a baseline then choose a selection of the sites where you will be doing the new management and one other site you aren’t changing as a control.
- If performance of certain sites is your main concern select a mix of your worst, best and average.
- Choose sites that you can easily change management on (except control sites), so that you can act to improve your soils where necessary. It’s frustrating to see poor soil health but not be able to do anything different because of restrictions on the managing the site.
- Choose sites relatively close to each other or easily accessible to make it more simple to reach them and do soil tests.

5. Add Sites

Add sites on the smartphone app:

1. Open the Soilmentor app on your smartphone
2. Go to 'Sites & Biodiversity'
3. Click the '+' button
4. Enter the name of the site and click 'Save'

Add sites on the web app (your computer):

1. Login to the web app on your computer
2. Go to 'Sites'
3. Click 'Add Site' in the top right corner
4. Enter the name of the site and click 'Save'

On the farm

1. Choose Sample Locations

Decide where you want your sample locations to be in each site. By saving gps locations for each sample you can come back to within a 5m circular area of that spot each time you repeat the tests. By going back to more or less the same spot you are able to see how that soil is changing with time and as you change management.

We suggest doing soil tests at three sample locations for each site. When choosing the sample locations you could sample the best spot for the first location, the worst spot for the second location and an average spot for the third. Alternatively you could sample a location in the middle of the site, on the margin of the site and under the hedge/ in woodland at the site. Or for simplicity you can call them Sample 1, Sample 2 and Sample 3.

2. Add sample locations

Add sample locations on the Soilmentor smartphone app:

1. Open the Soilmentor smartphone app
2. Tap 'Sample locations'
3. Tap the '+' button in the top right
4. Tap the site you are at
5. Enter the name of the sample location and tap 'Save'
6. Tap the 'Map' tab
7. Tap the three dots in the top right
8. Move the map until it's at the location of your sample (your location will be shown as a blue dot)
9. Tap done and your sample gps location will be saved

If you have no service / internet out in your sites, you can open the ‘Map’ section of your smartphone app while you have wifi, in order to load the map of your farm before you go out testing. Your smartphone will then be able to locate you on that preloaded map even without internet!

Add sample locations on the web app (your computer):

1. Login to the web app on your computer
2. Click 'Sample locations'
3. Click 'Add Sample location' in the top right corner
4. Enter the name of the sample location, choose the site it is within, enter the longitude and latitude if you know it (or add the gps location on your smartphone later) and click 'Save'

3. Add soil test results

1. Familiarise yourself with our free soil test guide - instructions for each test are displayed in the smartphone app.
2. Open the Soilmentor app on your smartphone
3. Tap Soil Samples, scroll the list and tap the sample location you are at.
4. If you haven't already, set the gps location of the sample location (tap the map tab, tap the three dots, move the map so your blue dot is at the sample marker, tap done.)
5. Tap the 'Add' tab: You should now see a list of soil tests that you can do at this sample location.
6. Click on the name of a test - tap the green 'i' to see instructions on how to do the test.
7. Perform the test, enter the result, add relevant notes and a photo.
8. Repeat these steps at the different sample locations in your field.

4. Biodiversity observations

In monitoring biodiversity on your farm, you will begin to notice patterns of diversity, and can learn which farming practices create an environment that attracts birds and insects. Taking the time to stop and notice the wildlife can become a beneficial part of your farming routine, we’ve found it really helps us to farm more in tune with nature – a key part of farming more regeneratively.

How to approach biodiversity observation:

1. Ad hoc: whenever you spot something at one of your sites you can grab your smartphone and enter what you’ve seen in the Soilmentor app.
2. Transect walk: do a 15 min walk around the site - record mammals & butterflies & moths for the first 5mins, record invertebrates along the ground for the second 5mins and record mammals & butterflies & moths for the final 5mins.
3. Quadrat: standing at your sample location spend 10 mins recording birds, mammals & butterflies & moths and 5 mins recording invertebrates in a quadrat.

Add biodiversity observations on the Soilmentor smartphone app:

1. Open the Soilmentor app on your smartphone
2. Tap Sites & Biodiversity
3. Tap the site you’re in
4. Tap the category the animal you've spotted falls into
5. Find the animal you’ve spotted from the relevant dropdown list (tap Choose Option to view the list)
6. Record a photo (if you can get one!)

5. In a wifi / mobile internet zone: Sync your data from the smartphone app (your phone) to the web app (your computer)

1. When you are back in a Wifi area/ have mobile internet signal
2. Open the Soilmentor app on your smartphone and go to the homepage
3. Tap Admin
4. Tap Sync
5. This will upload your data to view on your computer / internet browser
6. Login and check that the info you added is there

6. The Regen Platform

The Regen Platform is a regenerative benchmarking dashboard that will be available on the Soilmentor web app (your computer) from January 2022. Collect data using the steps above with your Soilmentor smartphone app which will feed into The Regen Platform.

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