Soil, Seed & Fertilizer Characterization with Handheld XRF Analyzers

Portable XRF Analyzers are fast, non-destructive tools used to characterize soil, seed & fertilizer for optimized planting. To illustrate how this works, let’s look at how producers and XRF see differences in corn plants.

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Humans characterize an object by “capturing” what is seen at a molecular level when light shines on it – shape, size, texture – and processing that data with stored knowledge. We can immediately see differences in the leaf color of two brands of corn seed. One is dark green and the other light green.

A handheld XRF (HH-XRF) system characterizes an object by “capturing” what it sees at an elemental level when light shines on it – photon energies and intensities – and processing that data with stored knowledge. HH-XRF can see the dark green leaves have more aluminum, silicon and calcium; while, the light green leaves have more phosphorus and potassium.

The combination of field observations by producers and portable XRF analyzers, along with a knowledge of fertilizers, nutrients and contaminants, helps determine optimized planting conditions for given soil environments.

Leaves of two brands of corn seed:

Molecular View of Corn Leaves
Molecular View of Corn Leaves
Elemental View of Corn Leaves
Elemental View of Corn Leaves

Solutions for Sustainable & Healthy Soil, Crops & Food

  • Analyze elemental composition of soil to confirm healthy and sustainable field

  • Determine elemental properties of area soil, irrigation source and fertilizer for optimized crop quality and yield

  • Compare quality and yield of various seed brands or fertilizer mixes

  • Analyze elemental nutrient content in plants and leaves

 

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