The present invention provides systems and methods for measuring a load force associated with pulling a farm implement through soil that is used to generate a spatially variable map that represents the spatial variability of the physical characteristics of the soil. An instrumented hitch pin configured to measure a load force is provided that measures the load force generated by a farm implement when the farm implement is connected with a tractor and pulled through or across soil. Each time a load force is measured, a global positioning system identifies the location of the measurement. This data is stored and analyzed to generate a spatially variable map of the soil. This map is representative of the physical characteristics of the soil, which are inferred from the magnitude of the load force.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.