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THEME: 
Research for the benefit of SMEs / Research for SMEs.
Project acronym: NUTRISTAT
Project full title: Real-me, in-situ, N, P, K, pH and electrical conducvity soil-analysis system to facilitate accurate
nutrient management
Grant agreement no: 286489
Timetable: from 2012 to 2013
Website: http://www.nutristat-project.com

Real-time, in-site, N, P, K, pH and electrical conductivity soil-analysis system to facilitate accurate nutrient management

Information on soil nutrient status is vital for optimal crop growth, consequently this information is the basis for apropriate fertilizer application and management. Soil testing by chemical analysis of N (Nitrogen), P (Phosphorus), K (Potassium) EC (electric conductivity) and pH levels can help to determine the status of the nutrients in the soil. Producers use soil test results along with past soil management practices and cropping history to decide the amount of fertilisers that should be applied.

Current practices in soil testing reveal that producers take soil samples to a laboratory to be analyzed and results normally take up to 3 weeks to be issued. Farmers who implement this practice reap the benefits of having a comprehensive guide to better manage their production and economic expenditures. Farmers also ensure best practice in agriculture and guarantee that nutrient applications are solidly based on real information. This is especially important to reduce pollution and safeguarding both ground and surface water quality, as well as to ensure an even distribution of fertilizer applications on fields. Never the less, the process of soil testing is labor and time consuming. Farmers who do not practice regular soil tests are facing numerous difficulties such as lack of accurate statistical information for soil and crop management, increased costs for fertilizers, and challenges in meeting stringent EU guidelines.

An EU funded research project, called NUTRI-STAT, is about to provide the producers with a tool that helps them optimizing the fertilizer usage. The project is aiming at developing a real‐time soil analysis system, that could make measurements of the 3 macro nutrients, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, as well as the EC and pH level in one combined test, and could provide the results in less than 5 hours.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 286489.

 

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