When it comes to fertilization, farmers usually take a soil sample every few acres and measure how much nitrogen and potassium each sample contains.
This approach ultimately creates a map that reflects the nutritional needs of these plants.
A new experimental laser device is expected to be faster and more
Detailed map of crops
When a tractor or other vehicle passes through the field, the reading is taken from the plant itself to meet the nutritional needs.
Farmers may get a lot of benefits because such a map allows them to better adjust the application of fertilizers, thus limiting the waste of expensive fertilizers, or reducing production due to insufficient feed for some plants
The principle of this technique is to illuminate the polarized laser on the plant and then analyze the wavelength of the leaf reflected back.
By understanding the spectrum that usually comes from health,
Computer systems can tell Fed members of plant species when crops become less and lessthan-
At present, the system can only recognize the nitrogen status of plants.
However, the device's developers hope that one day the system will be able to measure the phosphorus status of the plant and may find early evidence of the disease or pest.
In addition, since the spectrum reflected by plant species from a given beam may vary greatly, this system may also be used to identify undesirable biodiversity in the crop field --weeds!
Steven Finkelman, chief developer of the project, noted that the current equipment weighs less than 10 pounds and can be easily installed on tractors.
He expects that in the process of passing through the field at a time, it can diagnose how much fertilizer a single plant needs and tell the sprayer on the same vehicle to distribute the right amount of fertilizer to the plant.
In addition to increasing agricultural productivity, the technology could also bring environmental dividends, fenkelman said.
By limiting over-fertilization, it can significantly reduce the excess plant nutrition that ultimately flows from the field into the stream.
This is important because these same substances allow algae that produce oxygen to reproduce and fertilize.
Hungry areas in the Gulf of Mexico and other coastal waters.
Recent studies have shown that these dead zones not only kill fish (see )
But it will trigger more.
Subtle health problems in aquatic life (see ).
While most of the light hitting the leaves bounces, some rays are absorbed and then re-emitted from the leaves after being affected by the chemical reactions within the plant.
When the polarized laser shines on the leaves, it is absorbed-then-
Finkelman says the energy of the re-launch is depolarized light.
It is these depolarized emissions that reveal information about the state of plant nitrogen and may indicate other features. Prototype N-Checker—
The system shines two red light of different wavelengths on the leaves of the crop.
Then, the light from plants is analyzed by splitting the two wavelengths.
The resulting spectral fingerprints provide clues to the center of chemical action within the blade, such as the presence and quantity of nitrogen
Rich in green leaves and other plant pigments.
Get a reading from plants 18 inch away
Checker can move in one field and evaluate the status of 60 plants per minute.
In a test at the University of Illinois, the system detected significant feature differences in the reflection spectra of plants from different amounts of nitrogen, finkelman and his colleagues in an agricultural report in July
The National Science Foundation has been supporting the development of the system through small business innovation research funding.
However, finkerman said: "We have recently been interested in the tractor company, so we are now discussing this particular [nitrogen-analyzing]instrument.
These systems may also become research tools.
Finkerman thinks N-
One day, equipment capable of distinguishing plant species from similar inspectors may be at the heart of a system for mapping regional biodiversity. A truck-
Based on the unit can scan the leaves of the roadside or install the whole
Terrain vehicles can identify plants when crossing wild land.
If coordinated with the GPS, readings during this trek may immediately map the location and number of plant species in any grassland, field or forest, he said.
Louis Egton, finkerman's partner
Warburton, environmental science and the Chicago Botanical Garden, proves that N-
Checker detected characteristic spectra from samples of spinach, corn, sunflower, beans and sweet potato greenhouses.
Tested on leaves, the system detects differences between oak, maple, pine and cotton trees. N-
Checker even distinguished the cultivation varieties of two closely related single species
In this case, a red-notes Edgerton-Warburton.
She suggested that researchers who study the ecological effects of climate change may be interested in this performance.
One day, she explained, the spectral fingerprint of the plant may reveal the nitrogen and carbon content of the plant.
The higher the nitrogen content of the plant relative to the carbon storage, the faster its leaves, bark and branches break down, the process of discharging greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Therefore, the device can be used to measure the contribution of a particular environment to the climatealtering gas. But Edgerton-
Warburton also expects
See more devices like inspectors-prosaic use.
Equipment, for example-
The rental store may keep some loans to homeowners who want to assess whether or not they need to fertilize their lawn and how much it will take.