After 5 years of local R&D investment CSBP, the leading provider of fertilisers in Western Australia, is excited to introduce CSBP Detect. A crop monitoring tool to help commercial growers optimise crop yield and improve sustainability efforts by leveraging data and powerful analytics to provide real-time fertiliser recommendations.
To develop a crop monitoring tool that provides real-time, accurate information on the nitrogen profile of wheat and barley crops. The design solution must enable the direct understanding of the nitrogen profile of a plant to optimise the crop’s nitrogen applications and minimise issues of overuse or under application of nitrogen. The solution must provide actionable recommendations to growers.
The main objective is to improve yield, financial outcomes, and minimise environmental impacts by reducing the excessive use of nitrogen, which can lead to environmental degradation. Ultimately, this solution must promote sustainable crop production while supporting the economic success of growers.
CSBP Detect combines user-friendly software and hardware design. The system consists of a Near-Infrared Spectrometer (NIR) inside a housing that communicates with a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The spectrometer scans plant leaves to determine the nitrogen percentage by reading the nitrogen hydrogen bonds. The information is analysed in real-time by the cloud-based app to determine the crop status.
The heart of CSBP Detect is the powerful analytics and tailored recommendations based on CSBP’s proprietary chemometric models and plant nutrient analysis models. These models are developed, maintained and validated for accuracy by CSBP’s specialist team of data scientists, agronomists and researchers.
CSBP Detect not only benefits growers by optimising crop yield through real-time nitrogen status updates and recommendations, but it also promotes sustainable farming practices. Overuse of nitrogen fertilisers not only harms a grower's profitability but also poses significant environmental risks such as waterway pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. With CSBP Detect, growers can apply fertilisers only when necessary, reducing nitrogen loss and improving soil health, and thus promoting sustainable farming practices. CSBP Detect's data-driven approach enables growers to make informed decisions that balance crop yield and quality with environmental impact, paving the way for a more sustainable future in agriculture.
CSBP Detect’s hardware features a NIR spectrometer mounted within a portable, hand-held device. The device’s actuating lid was a key part of the hardware development. Designed from the ground up, the lid has several important features -
(1) A spectralon reflective panel mounted behind sapphire glass. Spectralon is a fluoropolymer with the highest diffuse reflectance of any known material over the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared regions of the spectrum.
(2) Perfect alignment between the lid and the scanning window is critical for accurate scans. Therefore, the inner lid assembly floats within the outer portion to achieve correct alignment and designed to ensure the plant material cannot be over-compressed.
(3) A moulded seal blocks out light between the lid and housing during scans.
Another feature of the device’s construction is its machined aluminium chassis. The exposed chassis provides the mounting point for all internal components including the spectrometer and the lid actuation mechanism. By using a single chassis, the design team reduced tolerance stacks to ensure the spectrometer is mounted accurately in relation to all other components. Important for reliable and accurate scanning. The chassis sub-assembly can be fully verified by QC checks before final assembly into the external housing.