Farm Innovation - Soil Nitrate Sensors

Thank you for speaking to us at Farming Innovations. 

 

At ZP AgTech we see that monitoring nitrates in the soil helps the farmer, the environment and developers. The soli nitrate rod does this by reducing fertilizer costs for farmers and reducing run off and pollution from fertilizing.


Why the farmer?

ZP's field trials have shown that 67 % of fertilizers added to UK farms today are wasted. If continuous soil nitrate monitoring was implemented today farmers then could reduce their nitrate usage by 2/3. Considering that fertilizer costs are currently at over £ 700 per ton, the return on investment with continuous nitrate production is more apparent than ever.

Why the environment?

Local - If 2/3 of the fertilizers added to fields are wasted, then the question is 'where is it going?' Unfortunately the answer is that it is ending up in local water courses and coastal waters. Excess nitrates these natural environments is a source of pollution, leading to eutrophication, etc.

 

Global - Though there is a clear local issue with excess nitrate fertilization , what is not so often discussed is that 1.2 % of man made carbon dioxide comes from nitrate production and 1 % of the global power production goes into nitrate production. These number may look relatively small, but any country that is able to reduced it's nitrate usage in farming by 67 % through continuous nitrate monitoring in the soil will go a long way to meeting its COP26  goals.

Why the planner and the developer?

Developers in the UK clearly have to go through the planning process, and now they have to demonstrate that a development won't have an environmental impact, this is even more so in Impact Risk Zone (IRZ) which are located adjacent to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The use of nitrate soil sensors along the boundary of an IRZ and SSSI can provide evidence to the developers when facing pushback from planners regarding issues of nitrate run off and eutrophication.