Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using Electromagnetic Induction To Trace Soil Nitrogen

Date:
October 11, 2004
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Nitrogen, a chemical nutrient needed by many growing crops, can accidentally end up in surface or subsurface water. Now an Agricultural Research Service scientist is using electromagnetic induction (EI) to measure changes in the soil's electrical conductivity, a quality that can provide important clues to the amount of nutrients present in the soil.

With a GPS unit strapped to his all-terrain vehicle, agricultural engineer Roger Eigenberg tows a sled with an electromagnetic geoconductivity meter attached to measure soil conductivity.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus.

Nitrogen, a chemical nutrient needed by many growing crops, can accidentally end up in surface or subsurface water. Now an Agricultural Research Service scientist is using electromagnetic induction (EI) to measure changes in the soil's electrical conductivity, a quality that can provide important clues to the amount of nutrients present in the soil.

Roger A. Eigenberg is an agricultural engineer at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb. He has used EI to study several fields and create a map with light-shaded areas representing high electrical conductivity--or areas of high nitrate concentration--and dark areas that indicate low conductivity, or low nitrate concentration.

Eigenberg has compared fields with and without a winter cover crop and fields with added manure or compost. He discovered that EI could be used to monitor the effects of winter cover crops, because EI changes corresponded to soil nutrient changes as the cover crop took up nutrients in the fall and released them back to the soil in the spring.

Another Clay Center research location was a former manure compost site. In the past, scientists had to take numerous soil samples to determine where manure rows had been located. Using the commercially available EI equipment, Eigenberg was able to locate them in a fraction of the time. He tracked nutrient movement over a four-year period and found that using equipment such as the EI meter can determine nutrient buildup and movement to help prevent nitrate leaching into groundwater.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Using Electromagnetic Induction To Trace Soil Nitrogen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041011075626.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2004, October 11). Using Electromagnetic Induction To Trace Soil Nitrogen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041011075626.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Using Electromagnetic Induction To Trace Soil Nitrogen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041011075626.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) — The turtles and Dolphins of Pakistan's Indus river - both protected by law - are in a fight for their survival as man's activities threatens their futures. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

AP (Oct. 2, 2014) — Educators and farmers are clinging to a tradition aimed at giving farmers much-needed help in getting potatoes out of the fields and into storage before the ground freezes in the nation's northeast corner. (Oct. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins