Yara transforms smartphones into nitrogen sensors


Yara has launched YaraIrix, a tool for precision farming that allows farmers to measure crop nitrogen requirements using their smartphones. The app was launched across Europe.

The YaraIrix system includes a free-to-download app (for Android & iOS), which uses the smartphone camera to determine nitrogen demands of different crops in early growth stages. For later growth stages, the app is supplemented by two hardware options (a smartphone clip and a Bluetooth N-Tester).

YaraIrix’s core function is the measuring of chlorophyll levels using a smartphone camera combined with one of two hardware devices. This enables precise measurements of the nitrogen needs of crops and makes it easier for the farmer to apply the correct amount of fertilizer. The app – without additional hardware – can determine the nitrogen needs of winter wheat, oilseed rape, maize and barley during early growth stages. Once the app makes a measurement, it provides an instant recommendation for how much fertilizer the crops need. The recommendation is based on algorithms and knowledge accumulated by more than 20 years of field research.

The system can be supplemented with the N-Tester Clip. The hardware add-on clips over the smartphone camera and transforms it into a nitrogen sensor. It enables precise nitrogen recommendations at later growth stages. In its initial phase, the clip will be available to farmers who are members of the YaraIrix’s Innovator Program.

Farmers can also purchase the N-Tester BT for the YaraIrix system that connects to smartphones via Bluetooth. It is the successor to the well-known N-Tester. The N-Tester BT provides recommendations for the abovementioned crops as well as winter and spring barley, winter rye and winter triticale in later growth stages. It also saves historical data to enable further optimizations for the farmer.

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