Any dairy farmer who has taken a smack in the face from a dung-encrusted cow’s tail on a frosty morning will know the feeling and wonder how to stop it happening again.
Using an integral near-infrared (NIR) sensor, the device is said to deliver a result in seconds via an app on a mobile device, thereby by-passing the need for laboratory analysis.
SCiO for Corn has been developed by Israeli tech company Consumer Physics, miniaturising a traditional NIR spectrometer in a pocket-sized device that connects to cloud-based algorithms.
The raw data and results are displayed on the smart device and accompanied by a trend chart showing how the crop is developing. In the paddock, non-destructive testing is carried out by sampling five or six corn cobs, then tapping the mobile app. The result is delivered within a few seconds and the company says precision and accuracy is on par with a traditional lab analysis.
The device can measure moisture between 8 and 80%. The higher values might be of interest to maize grain growers or seed producers, the latter looking to collect maturity data for the development of future varieties.