Over a two-year period, a research team at Texas A&M has developed a new handheld device that has the potential to determine the health, nutritional composition, and economic value of grain.
Assistant professor of biochemistry and physics Dmitry Kurouski and his team use a scanner called a Raman spectrometer to analyze corn kernels, determining within one second the nutritional content of the grain, including carb and fiber content.
When used on plants, the scanner can determine if there exists a fungal or bacterial infection, or if a viral disease is present before outward signs appear, enabling a farmer to successfully quarantine plants to reduce the spread of disease.
This device is non-invasive, and chemical-free, and offers farmers a cost-effective alternative to satellite imagery or microbiological methods of crop analysis, and may one day be attached to a combine to assess a crop as it is being harvested in real time.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.