Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for precision slurry tankers

A sensor that will be integrated in Samson slurry tankers to reliably and quickly measure the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the manure has won a silver medal for innovation at the Agritechnica 2019 show in Germany.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for precision slurry tankers

A sensor that will be integrated in Samson slurry tankers to reliably and quickly measure the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the manure has won a silver medal for innovation at the Agritechnica 2019 show in Germany.

The world’s leading trade fair for agricultural technology, Agritechnica takes place November 10-16 in Hanover.

Agritechnica is organised by the German Agricultural Society (DLG), which also presents the prestigious annual awards for innovation.

There was only one gold innovation award winner (John Deere) this year, and 39 silver awards.

Innovation judges said exact analysis of fertiliser ingredients has an important role to play, due to increasing legal requirements for precise application of liquid organic fertilisers.

So far, that analysis required taking samples for wet-chemical analysis, or use of near-infrared sensors to estimate the nutrient content of manures.

For the first time, Samson offers a system for determining nitrogen, phosphorus and potash in manure, based on a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance sensor. Analysis of manure ingredients can be done without complicated calibration.

According to DLG, sensors based on NMR technology promise fewer errors in manure analysis, and initial laboratory tests show a good alignment with laboratory results.

Samson Agro, a Danish company, says its system takes precise real-time measurements of nutrients in natural fertiliser, and will be integrated in their Samson PG II slurry tankers.

Having precise knowledge of the actual content of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in natural fertiliser is essential, in order to minimise environmental impact and to optimise crop production. The magnetic resonance technology operates at the atomic level, and is based on years of development, according to Samson Agro, which says it enables new possibilities for precise documentation, crop optimised variable distribution, and trade in natural fertilisers.

Head of sales Torben Larsen said, “Today, the amount of NPK nutrients delivered to the fields through application of animal slurry is mainly determined on the basis of standard values based on general information on animal and housing type, without accurate knowledge of the potential fertiliser value or environmental impact. We are very proud to show this new precision sensor as an alternative to already available measuring systems.”

“Previous extensive research in monitoring of nutrient values in natural fertiliser has mainly led to methods relying on measurements of electric conductivity or near-infrared spectroscopy.

“Our new NPK sensor unit offers direct measurements of NPK in all types of natural fertiliser distributed with a Samson slurry tanker, without the use of natural fertiliser databases for sensor correction and without user calibration.”

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