Organic fertilizer, also known as manure, is used in agriculture to provide nutrition to crops. To properly administer manure to the soil, knowledge of the nutrient content is required. Overapplication of manure nutrients is known to cause environmental damage, such as water pollution, while underapplication can reduce crop quality and yield.
NIR spectroscopy can be used to analyze mineral and nutrient contents, including nitrogen, carbon, ammonia and potassium in various types of manure samples. This analysis can then be utilized to create insight on the composition of the manure administered to the crops and to adjust the used amount accordingly.
Compared to the conventional method of using chemical analysis to determine nutrient content in manure, NIR spectroscopy is faster, more efficient, less labor intense and non-destructive, which decreases waste of product. It also makes the use of harmful chemicals obsolete, which makes it a much more environmentally friendly option.