Soil analysis in the field - is it possible?

Many farmers and gardeners may dream of a device that performs soil analysis on the spot (e.g. in the field) giving results and recommendations in actual time. The company AgroCares has created a handy and easy-to-use scanner for testing the content of basic NPK fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) and organic matter in soil and its pH. The device can also be used to examine leaves and feed.

Opening of Circular Agricultural Day by Carolien Spaans
Beeld: ©Murawska

The scanner was presented at the Circular Agriculture Conference organized at the Embassy in Warsaw.

To perform the analysis, one needs a scanner, a mobile application and a shallow soil container. The sampling procedure for the test is exactly the same as for the analysis in the laboratory, but the test itself is done in the field and it only takes a few minutes. The first step is to pour a few centimeters (3-5 cm) layer of soil into the container and apply a scanner to its surface, then the only button on the device needs to be oppressed to make a measurement. To analyze one sample, five such measurements are taken at different places on the surface of the soil being tested. The results and fertilizer recommendations for the species specified in the entered data are obtained in the next few minutes via the AgroCares application installed on a smartphone or other mobile device (Internet access is required).

How it's working?

The AgroCares scanner works via infrared. The wavelength range of the near infrared spectrometer is 1300-2600 nm (MEMS technology). Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 USB 2.0, high speed 480 Mb / s. The scanned area is a circle with a diameter of 65 mm2. The light source is tungsten (halogen) lamps. Lifetime:> 6,000 hours. Both dry and wet soil can be tested.