A Novel Smartphone-based Technology for Measuring Nitrogen (N) Status in Floriculture Crops- Ranjeeta Adhikari1, Cheng Li2 and Krishna Nemali1*

Optimal tissue nitrogen (N) is crucial for growth and quality of plants. Currently, laboratory analysis is the only direct method available to accurately measure tissue N. However, this method is time-consuming. Other equipment like chlorophyll meter are expensive. The objective of this study is to develop affordable and non-destructive technology for measuring N status of floriculture crops. Tissue N affects chlorophyll content in plants and thereby influences plant absorption/reflectance of light. We have built a relatively inexpensive (approx. $150) N-sensor that can be connected to a smartphone using a micro-controller, two miniature cameras and light filters to measure reflectance of red (R) and near infrared (NIR) light from plants. A software was built for capturing, processing and extracting image-derived reflectance ratio (Rratio, RNIR/Rred). The Rratio was linearly related to whole-plant tissue N content (r2=0.71) obtained from laboratory showing the potential of this technology for measuring N status in floriculture crops.

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