Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optical Sensors Help Farmers Find High-Quality Wheat

Date:
January 6, 2005
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Since buyers will pay a premium for high-quality wheat, farmers need to not only grow it, but also know which exact locations in their fields have the wheat that buyers desire. Over the past decade, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agronomist in Pendleton, Ore., has been testing various instruments that may one day help farmers quickly pinpoint the precise location of high-quality wheat.

Ripening wheat on the Palouse hills of Washington.
Credit: Photo by Doug Wilson / courtesy of USDA / Agricultural Research Service

Since buyers will pay a premium for high-quality wheat, farmers need to not only grow it, but also know which exact locations in their fields have the wheat that buyers desire. Over the past decade, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agronomist in Pendleton, Ore., has been testing various instruments that may one day help farmers quickly pinpoint the precise location of high-quality wheat.

Dan Long started testing wheat-quality measuring devices while teaching at Montana State University, and he has continued that work at the ARS Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center in Pendleton. He is currently working with two firms to develop and test spectroscopic devices that use fiber optics and near-infrared light to measuring protein concentration of grain. Attached to a combine, the device measures the protein content of wheat during the harvesting operation.

Buyers want specific levels of protein, depending on how the wheat will be used. Bakers need high-protein wheat for making bread, but low-protein wheat is preferred for cakes, cookies and crackers.

In addition to protein, the optical sensors can measure fat, oil, carbohydrate and moisture levels in grain. By knowing this information, farmers may one day be able to segregate grain during harvest and transfer operations, based on the grain's specific qualities. As with many other crops, a single field of wheat can produce grain with significant variations in quantity and quality.

Farmers can also use the sensor-derived information for fertilizer management, since soil nitrogen and protein levels are correlated. They will be able to tell which sections of the farm already have enough nitrogen. This information will help them save money on unnecessary fertilizer applications and also help protect the environment against surplus nitrogen.

Long will continue testing for grain quality next year and also hopes to use information from the optical sensors to study crop residue levels. The sensors probably will not be commercially available for another year or two, according to Long.

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. "Optical Sensors Help Farmers Find High-Quality Wheat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104110632.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2005, January 6). Optical Sensors Help Farmers Find High-Quality Wheat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104110632.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Optical Sensors Help Farmers Find High-Quality Wheat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104110632.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A kangaroo was saved from drowning in a backyard suburban swimming pool in Australia's Victoria state on Thursday. Australian broadcaster Channel 7 showed footage of the kangaroo struggling to get out of the pool. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. 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:
from the past week

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