Sensor gives farmers more accurate read on plant health, provides valuable crop data

phys.org | 11/1/2018 | Staff
madalina09madalina09 (Posted by) Level 4
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A Purdue University professor has built an innovative handheld sensor that gives plant scientists and farmers a more precise way of measuring the health of crops while gathering up-to-the-minute data that state and federal officials and others will find valuable.

Jian Jin, an assistant professor in Purdue's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, hopes his hyperspectral-imaging device will be used widely by plant scientists and farmers nationally and internationally. The device scans a plant for physiological features, such as moisture, nutrient and chlorophyll levels, as well as different chemical spraying effects and disease symptoms to determine whether it is healthy or under stress.

Jin - Device - Farmers - Changes - Plant

Jin said the hyperspectral-imaging device he built will help farmers detect changes in plant health in the field hours to days before they are visible to the naked eye. It also will allow farmers to make necessary changes to grow more food using fewer resources, such as by reducing fertilizer and water use.

"My vision is this sensor will allow household farmers walking through a field to use a handheld device and a smartphone to get the same information available from very expensive phenotyping systems constructed by big companies and big universities in recent years," Jin said. "We have 600 million farmers worldwide, and very few of them are benefiting from high-end plant sensor technologies. Now, with this handheld device, most farmers can benefit."

Technology - Purdue - Giant - Leaps - University

This technology aligns with Purdue's "Giant Leaps" celebrating the university's global advancements made in health, space, artificial intelligence and sustainability highlights as part of Purdue's 150th anniversary. Those are the four themes of the yearlong celebration's Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

The sensor, which can scan a plant in less than five seconds, can detect hundreds of bands of color in each pixel compared with the three bands of color...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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