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Assessing the Potential for Ion Selective Electrodes and Dual Wavelength UV Spectroscopy as a Rapid on-Farm Measurement of Soil Nitrate Concentration

Author

Listed:
  • Rory Shaw

    () (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK)

  • A. Prysor Williams

    () (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK)

  • Anthony Miller

    () (John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK)

  • Davey L. Jones

    () (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK)

Abstract

Current fertiliser recommendations for nitrogen are limited in their accuracy and may be improved by the use of simple on-farm soil rapid tests. This paper investigates the potential for using nitrate (NO 3 − ) ion selective electrodes (ISEs) and dual wavelength UV spectroscopy as part of a rapid soil NO 3 − diagnostic test. Three soil types, representing the major soil types for agriculture in the western UK, were tested. For the three soils, the ISE rapid test procedure gave a near 1:1 response ( r 2 = 0.978, 0.968, 0.989) compared to the internationally-approved standard laboratory method. However, the accuracy of the ISE rapid test was reduced at low soil NO 3 − concentrations (<10 mg NO 3 − L −1 ). We also show that NO 3 − analysis of H 2 O soil extracts by dual wavelength UV spectroscopy was also highly correlated ( r 2 = 0.978, 0.983, 0.991) to the standard laboratory method. We conclude that both ISE and dual wavelength UV spectroscopy have clear potential to be used for the rapid on-farm determination of soil NO 3 − concentration. Barriers to use of these field-based assessment tools include, farmer perception of cost-benefit, general attitude to new technologies and the ability to generate useful fertiliser use strategies from soil NO 3 − measurements.

Suggested Citation

  • Rory Shaw & A. Prysor Williams & Anthony Miller & Davey L. Jones, 2013. "Assessing the Potential for Ion Selective Electrodes and Dual Wavelength UV Spectroscopy as a Rapid on-Farm Measurement of Soil Nitrate Concentration," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-15, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:327-341:d:26847
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. World Bank & Food and Agriculture Organization & International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2009. "Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook
      [Agricultura y desarrollo rural : manual sobre género en agricultura]
      ," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6603.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crop nutrients; fertiliser management; nitrogen use efficiency; soil analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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