Stenon GmbH is supported by the European Fund for Regional Development of the European Union in the project “Farmlab- the Laboratory for Real-Time Soil Analysis”.
In agriculture, the exact planning of fertiliser quantities and the type and composition of fertilisers used are essential for maintaining soil fertility, complying with legal requirements and the function of soil as the basis for the production of food and feed. Due to the wide variety of soil and plant species, fertilizers must be adapted to their specific needs so that farmers achieve maximum yields with minimum material input and also comply with legal requirements.
These legal requirements on fertilisation can lead to high penalties of up to € 150,000 for non-compliance or infringements.
At the same time, despite the importance of fertilisation for cultivation, there are no inexpensive, user-friendly and functional technologies to support farmers in this process by providing real-time data on soil quality and plant available nutrients and the resulting recommendations for action.
This is what stenon GmbH takes up and develops a solution for these problems within the scope of a ProFIT project – the FarmLab.
This is the world’s first scalable, real-time in-situ solution for soil analysis, which can also be used as a documentation system.
The project is carried out in a joint project with the Leibniz Institute for Vegetables and Ornamental Crops (IGZ).
The development goal of the cooperation is primarily the validation of the measurement results and the data preparation of the measured soil parameters by the research partner. With the help of the IGZ, fertilizer recommendations based on the FarmLab will be developed to optimize fertilizer planning.
The targeted application-oriented development will enable the FarmLab to be used directly in the agricultural cultivation area or for real-time soil quality determination in public areas after development. All soil analyses can thus be carried out within a few minutes directly on site, cost-effectively, without costly sample preparation and in a non-destructive measurement. In addition, the analysis is optimized through the use of innovative machine learning models, from which explicit recommendations for farmers can be derived. For this purpose, the software “N-Expert” developed by the IGZ for fertilisation optimisation is used.