Reference strips and precision sensors for increased nitrogen use efficiency in wheat production

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2013: $1,960.75
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Olga Walsh
University of Idaho

Information Products


  • Agronomic: wheat


  • Crop Production: fertilizers


    Our project is focused on educating and training wheat producers on how sensor-based technologies can increase the efficiency and profitability of their farm operations. Precision sensors enable to develop crop-specific and site-specific yield potential-based topdress nitrogen recommendations and to increase nitrogen use efficiency.




    Scientists and crop producers around the world are using crop canopy sensors to evaluate a crop’s nutrient status, estimate a crop’s biomass production, estimate a crop’s yield potential, detect crop stress and disease infestation, breed and select new crops, make fertilizer recommendations, and prescribe variable-rate fertilizer and chemical applications.

    The purpose of this project was to improve growers’ knowledge and understanding of how crop canopy sensors and in-field reference strips can be utilized for effective nitrogen (N) management.

    Project objectives:

    Objectives/Performance Targets

    Specific objectives are:

    • To establish on-farm studies to demonstrate that non-limiting nitrogen reference strips - in combination with precision sensing methodologies – can be effectively used to accurately determine wheat demand for nitrogen.
    • To educate and train wheat growers on how sensor-based technologies can increase the efficiency and profitability of their wheat production operations.
    • To train graduate research assistants to utilize sensor-based technologies and to conduct on-farm research.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.