Analytik reports on the use of AgriSpec portable near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer from ASD Inc. at Rothamsted Research Ltd, the longest running agricultural research station in the world. The spectrometer is used for nitrogen measurements in grain.
The AgriSpec line of NIR instruments is portable and precise. They use an improved optical design providing a faster speed of analysis while yielding the best possible analytical results on a wide range of materials, including solids, powders and liquids.
Improvements to the AgriSpec line provide the user with higher quality measurements that identify and quantify materials in real time with minimal sample preparation.
These non-destructive measurements result in minimal or zero sample waste. Users enjoy the ability to measure multiple properties simultaneously.
Rothamsted Research is the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for nearly 170 years.
Their mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.
Andrew Riche has worked at Rothamsted since 1994 on the agronomy and physiology of arable crops.
His current work is focused on wheat pre-breeding research, studying a diverse range of germplasm looking particularly at improving nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency.
One of his routine tasks is to measure the amount of nitrogen in grain. Routine measurement was performed with a combustion analyzer but with increasing workloads and extended time for sample preparation being required, a new solution was required.
This is driven by the changing research goals. Andrew explained: "Our research is into wheat nutrition, particularly nitrogen use efficiency. We have recently expanded the field trials work to around 7,000 plots/year generating around 14,000 plant samples (grain + straw) which require nitrogen analysis. With so many samples, we were looking for a cheaper and quicker method of analysis."
"We chose the AgriSpec for a number of reasons. I like its robustness - much of our work is done in a lab. It is not a typical lab. We have thousands of relatively large samples, with associated dust and other contaminants. The range of attachments for the AgriSpec is good. By using the sample turntable, we can easily and rapidly estimate grain nitrogen content without having to mill the samples saving a lot of time."