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Wireless nitrate soil sensor could cut fertilizer use

from Ag Professional

A University of Oregon spinout company developing a wireless soil sensor to detect nitrate levels in fields that could help farmers reduce fertilizer use by up to 30 percent has been awarded Oregon BEST commercialization funding to fast-track the product to the marketplace. Because plants can absorb only so much nitrogen, approximately 30 percent of the fertilizer applied to North American soils is wasted due to over-application and runoff. With U.S. farmers spending $12 billion annually on fertilizer, the new supramolecular sensor technology, discovered by accident by chemists at the UO, could lead to significant savings in fertilizer purchases, as well as in labor and fuel costs associated with fertilizer application. more

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