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Laboratory evaluation of the ion selective electrode for use in an automated soil nitrate monitoring system

, : Laboratory evaluation of the ion selective electrode for use in an automated soil nitrate monitoring system. Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis 25(17-18): 3025-3034

Environmental pollution partly caused by excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer is focusing the attention of the agricultural industry towards prescription farming. It has been suggested that fertilizer application rates should be varied in response to the in situ nutrient concentrations of the soil. The time consuming nature of present methods of soil nitrate testing limits their suitability for in situ use. The nitrate ion-selective electrode was tested in the lab for its suitability for use in an automated soil nitrate monitoring system. Tests were conducted to evaluate the parameters of soil:extractant ratio, extract clarity, and electrode response time. Results indicate that with proper calibration, the electrode is suitable for in situ measurement of soil nitrate concentration and reliable readings may be obtained in less than four seconds.

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