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OptRx Crop Sensor

 

OptRx  

Managing nitrogen has become one of the biggest challenges in agriculture. There are many tools to help manage nitrogen once it has been put on the soil, but even then, Mother Nature has to cooperate. There is still the challenge of delivering the right amount of nitrogen to the right plant. That is until now…

Applicator Options
For optimum performance using OptRx crop sensors at side-dress in corn production, self-propelled high clearance machines are the side-dress applicator of choice. Self-propelled high clearance machines with spray booms can be affordably converted to side dress applicators by adding drop hoses to the booms between rows.
In wheat production, any top-dress applicator will work. The type of machine will depend on the geographic location in which the operator is located.

Vegetative Index (VI)

Using built-in intelligence, OptRx assigns a “crop vigor” number or vegetative index value based on plant biomass and nitrogen content. This number determines the rate of nitrogen that should be applied to achieve maximum profit.

Calculating Nitrogen Rate

To determine N rate, OptRx must first identify the VI value that represents a plant with sufficient nitrogen available; this is called the VI Reference Value. To determine a VI Reference Value, users must drive the applicator over the healthiest looking plants for a minimum of 5 minutes. This process calibrates OptRx crop sensors for the given growth stage.

 
 
Scan crops to assess crop vigor. Find and scout areas of the field with poor performing crops. User can define minimum and maximum N rates to help protect your checkbook if N rates exceed input budget. In corn production, real-time variable rate nitrogen application using OptRx needs to take place at side-dress, at corn growth stages V5-V12 (2ft – 7ft tall). When using OptRx sensors on wheat, topdress application can occur anytime between tillering and stem elongation.
Using OptRx and a compatible Ag Leader display operators can create a nitrogen prescription that adjusts the rate of application on-the-go. Nitrogen is applied at a rate that maximizes yield potential in all areas of the field while avoiding excessive nitrogen rates common to flat rate applications. This technology allows the operator to put nitrogen where the crop needs it, leading to input cost efficiency as well as less environmental impact.

OptRx shines light on the growing plant, and then reads the light reflected back at the sensor. The data is logged and mapped to be used in further analysis – or for real-time variable rate applications. For example, the sensor tells the applicator to apply less nitrogen on healthy corn plants and more nitrogen on weaker, unhealthy corn plants, according to a calibration specific to that field. OptRx’s patent-pending advanced light-sensing technology is not dependent on ambient light – offering maximum flexibility to be used day or night.

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