Agriculture 2013, 3(3), 327-341; doi:10.3390/agriculture3030327
Article

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

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Received: 16 May 2013; in revised form: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 24 June 2013 / Published: 2 July 2013
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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 (NO3) ion selective electrodes (ISEs) and dual wavelength UV spectroscopy as part of a rapid soil NO3 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 (r2 = 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 NO3 concentrations (<10 mg NO3 L−1). We also show that NO3 analysis of H2O soil extracts by dual wavelength UV spectroscopy was also highly correlated (r2 = 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 NO3 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 NO3 measurements.
Keywords: crop nutrients; fertiliser management; nitrogen use efficiency; soil analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shaw, R.; Williams, A.P.; Miller, A.; Jones, D.L. Assessing the Potential for Ion Selective Electrodes and Dual Wavelength UV Spectroscopy as a Rapid on-Farm Measurement of Soil Nitrate Concentration. Agriculture 2013, 3, 327-341.

AMA Style

Shaw R, Williams AP, Miller A, Jones DL. Assessing the Potential for Ion Selective Electrodes and Dual Wavelength UV Spectroscopy as a Rapid on-Farm Measurement of Soil Nitrate Concentration. Agriculture. 2013; 3(3):327-341.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shaw, Rory; Williams, A. P.; Miller, Anthony; Jones, Davey L. 2013. "Assessing the Potential for Ion Selective Electrodes and Dual Wavelength UV Spectroscopy as a Rapid on-Farm Measurement of Soil Nitrate Concentration." Agriculture 3, no. 3: 327-341.

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