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Know soil fertility anytime, anywhere

Soil is the mother of plants, and understanding soil fertility can effectively improve soil productivity and fertilizer utilization. As the amount of chemical fertilizers increases yearly, crop yields no longer increase, and soil acidification becomes more and more serious. Therefore, the government advocates rational fertilization. The government subsidizes soil fertility testing on farmland once a year, but the number of soil fertility testing cases in TARI and Agricultural Research and Extension Station in various districts is as high as 30,000 each year. Due to limited testing manpower, farmers must wait 2-4 weeks to receive soil fertility testing reports, so most farmers still use traditional farming methods for fertilization.

After four years of research and development, ITRI and TARI jointly developed the " Smart Soil nutrition testing kit ". Four key technologies include: high-performance extraction reagent, high-sensitivity NPK coloring agents, Patented design color comparison boxes, and an image recognition system. This kit was tested on 32 soils provided by TARI, and then 6 times of soil fertility tests were conducted in four countrysides (Kaohsiung, Yunlin, Taichung and Nantou), including 22 field tests. There are 13 kinds of crops planted in these fields, including broccoli, peanut, corn, garlic, papaya, dragon fruit, passion fruit...etc. A single rapid soil test can complete the nitrogen, phosphorus ,and potassium fertility test in the soil within 30 minutes, and the accuracy rate can reach 80%. In addition to being able to interpret the test results with the naked eye, an online intelligent comparison and fertilization suggestion system ,"Soiltalk",can also be used. After taking a photo of the test results and uploading them to the cloud, the AI algorithm can be used to identify the range of the Color Chart. By judging the test results and the corresponding color scale on the color chart, farmers can obtain the concentration range of nitrogen, phosphorus ,and potassium fertility in the soil immediately. Then, through an online comparison of expert crop fertility databases, the system can provide recommendations for "increase fertilization" or "decrease fertilization", allowing farmers to formulate fertilization strategies in time.

" Smart Soil nutrition testing kit " can quickly analyze the three macronutrients "nitrogen ,phosphorus ,and potassium" in the soil. It only takes 30 minutes from soil collection to obtain the test results, saving time to wait for the soil fertility test report, and allowing farmers to grasp soil fertility and avoid excessive fertilization instantly. Farmers can be expected to reduce fertilizer use by 20- 50% via soil fertility tests. Suppose one hectare of land can save NTD 2,000 in fertilizer usage fees per year. In that case, we can save NTD140 million in fertilizer costs yearly for 76,000 hectares of Miscellaneous Grains in Taiwan and also expect to increase crop yields by about 5- 20%.



Smart Soil nutrition testing kit

For instantly understand soil fertility indicators and stabilize agricultural production and crop quality, this study develop a soil nutrition testing kit with an image recognition system to determine the content of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the soil.
Not only will the State spending on soil fertility testing services be reduced, in addition, farmers can also control the number of fertilizers themselves.