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Digital Re-print - November | December 2010

Low-cost Near Infrared Transmission grain analysers for farmers

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NIR analysis Feature Feature NIR analysis

sample of grain, the sample is Table 1: Comparison of 2 CropScan 1000G Analysers vs. the Reference Laboratory (SEP = Standard Error of Prediction)
poured into the analyser and Protein Protein Diff Diff Moisture Moisture Diff Diff
the NIT spectra is collected. The Sample Ref Ref
CropScan CropScan Ref Ref CropScan CropScan Ref Ref
ID Protein Moisture
calibrations are applied and the - 004 - 015 - 004 - 015 - 004 - 015 - 004 - 015
protein, moisture and oil results
are predicted. W1 9.9 9.7 9.8 0.1 -0.1 9.1 9 8.9 0.2 0.1
W2 10.2 10.5 10.3 -0.1 0.2 11 11.1 11 0 0.1
Description of the
W3 12.1 11.9 11.9 0.2 0 12.2 12.1 12.1 0.1 0
instrument
The CropScan Loren W4 12.4 12.5 12.7 -0.3 -0.2 9.8 9.6 9.6 0.2 0
1000G On-Farm Analyser W5 13.6 13.8 13.7 -0.1 0.1 11.5 12 11.4 0.1 0.6

Low-cost Near Infrared (see Figure 1), is a diode


array spectrometer designed
to measure protein, moisture
B1
B2
B3
8.3
9.8
10.5
8.4
9.7
10.5
8.7
9.6
10.3
-0.4
0.2
0.2
-0.3
0.1
0.2
10.8
11.1
11
10.6
11.1
11.1
10.8
11.1
11.1
0
0
-0.1
-0.2
0
0

Transmission grain
and oil in wheat, barley and
canola. Other grains and oil B4 11.3 10.9 11.6 0.1 -0.7 12.5 12.4 12.5 0 -0.1
seeds can be measured; how- B5 12.6 12.6 12.8 -0.2 -0.2 10 10.2 10.1 -0.1 0.1
ever these three seeds make SEP - - - 0.22 0.28 - - - 0.11 0.21

analysers for farmers


up the bulk of the market in
Australia and Canada. Accuracy and precision Table 2 shows the results of analysing the
The CropScan 1000G uses a pour A recent in house study to validate the same five wheat and five barley samples on
through sampling system that allows up to 10 performance of the CropScan 1000G dem- three consecutive days. This test is indicative
sub samples to be scanned and the average onstrates the accuracy and precision of the of the stability of the analyser.
by Phillip Clancy, NIR Technology Systems, Australia of the protein and moisture or oil and mois- analyser. Table 1 shows the results of analysing
five wheat and five barley Calibrations
samples in duplicate and Calibration models for protein, moisture

M
easuring the protein, oil Moisture, that is water, is measured
and moisture of grains
at the farm gate is not a
from the O-H bonds.
And Oil is measured from the
CropScan 1000 Series
necessity in all countries. However, C-H bonds that exist in long
where farmers are paid based on
the protein and oil content of their
chain fatty acids which are the
building blocks for oils and fats.
Grain Analysers
grains, then a simple, low-cost NIT N-H, O-H and C-H molecules
(Near Infrared Transmission) analyser absorb at specific resonant fre-
can be of significant benefit. quencies of light.
So by passing infrared light Figure 3: Plot of predicted protein vs reference protein CropScan 1000B CropScan Loren
In Australia, South Africa, Canada and through the sample of grain, Whole Grain Analyser 1000B On
some European countries, grain is bought energy gets absorbed at the Farm Analyser
and sold based on protein and oil. three resonant frequencies in ture are presented on the screen in around compares the  Transportable
Specifically in Australia and Canada where proportion to the concentration 45 seconds. Figure 2 shows a schematic of results with the  12VDC
farms can be producing many thousands of of each compo- the diode array spectrometer. laboratory ref- operation

tonnes of wheat, barley and canola per year, nent. The advent of low-cost diode array erence values  Protein and
Moisture in
and the distances to silos can be as much Mathematical spectrometers, such as the CropScan for each sample. Whole
as 100km, then on-farm grain analysers are models are devel- 1000G, make on-farm grain measurement Figure 3 Wheat and
Barley
becoming a more common investment. oped using lin- possible. shows the
ear regression
 Oil and Moisture
The CropScan 1000G has no moving plots for pre- in Canola
The theory of NIT spectroscopy statistical software parts except for the sampling brush wheel dicted protein
Near Infrared Transmission spectroscopy that relate the motor to meter the grain through the sam- vs. the refer-  Protein and Moisture in Whole For an
measures protein, oil and moisture in grains amount of energy ple chamber. This solid state optical system ence protein Wheat and Barley
information pack,
by passing light through a 16mm thick cell absorbed at each means that the CropScan 1000G is unaf- values while  Oil and Moisture in Canola
please contact:
containing the whole grains. frequency to the fected by orientation and vibration. As such Figure 4 shows  Test Weight Module
Infrared energy is absorbed by the chemi- concentration lev- the analyser can be placed in a combine, in the plots for  Printer Option
NIR Technology Systems
cal bonds that make up the protein, moisture els. These models a tractor or any vehicle and moved from the predicted  Network Tel: 612 9771 5444 Fax: 612 9771 5255
Emial: nirtech@nirtech.net
and oil in the grains. Protein is measured are downloaded Above - Figure 1: The CropScan paddock to paddock. Running from a 12 volt moisture vs.
from the N-H bonds present in peptide into the analyser Loren 1000G On-Farm Analyser DC vehicle power adapter or from a 12 volt the reference
bonds that join together to make long pro- as calibration files. Figure 2: schematic of the battery, the CropScan 1000G can be used moisture val-
tein molecules. To analyse a diode array spectrometer virtually anywhere. ues.

22 | november - december 2010 &feed millinG technoloGy


Grain Grain &feed millinG technoloGy november - december 2010 | 23
NIR analysis Feature

and oil are developed using a Table 2: Results of analysing the same five wheat and five barley samples on three
mium for oil content
chemometrics software package consecutive days.This test is indicative of the stability of the analyser greater than 40 per-
called NTAS (NIR Technology Sample Protein Protein Protein Moisture Moisture Moisture
cent. By measuring
Analysis Software). Range Range the protein and oil
ID Day 1 Day 2 Day2 Day1 Day2 Day 3
Hundreds and even thou- for grains and oil
sands of samples of various seeds, the crop can
W1 9.9 9.9 10 0.1 9 9 8.8 0.2
grains are scanned, that is the be segregate into dif-
NIT spectra are collected using W2 10.2 10.6 10.3 0.4 10.9 10.8 10.7 0.2 ferent silos or bins.
the CropScan 1000G. A Partial W3 12 12.1 12.1 0.1 12.2 11.8 11.8 0.4 By blending higher
Least Squares (PLS) regression W4 12.5 12.5 12.4 0.1 9.6 9.5 9.4 0.2 protein wheat and
analysis is used to develop a W5 13.7 13.7 13.8 0.1 11.3 11.2 11.1 0.2 barley with low pro-
mathematical model that relates B1 8.3 8.9 8.6 0.6 10.8 10.7 10.7 0.1
tein grains and higher
the NIT spectra to each of the oil canola with lower
B2 10.1 10.2 10.2 0.1 11.1 11 11.1 0.1
protein, moisture and oil in the oil seeds, then it is
samples. B3 10.7 10.4 10.5 0.3 10.9 11.1 11 0.2 possible to get more
Separate calibration models B4 11.4 11.8 11.4 0.4 12.5 12.6 12.5 0.1 of the farmer’s crop
are developed for each grain. B5 12.5 13.1 12.8 0.6 10.1 10 10.1 0.1 into the premium
The master calibration mod- SDD - - - 0.21 - - - 0.09 grades and thereby
els provided with the CropScan increase their pay-
1000G have been developed ments for their
Table 3: Return on investment analysis
over many years based on sam- crops.
ples of wheat, barley and canola
collected from many countries. Wheat 2000 tonne Summary
Grains grown and
These calibrations are down- Barley 1500 tonne With the price of
tonnage:
loaded into each CropScan Canola 1000 tonne chemicals, fuel and
1000G and a set of reference Wheat $5 per percent per tonne
capital equipment
samples are analysed to make Premiums paid for increasing annually,
Barley $30 per tonne between 9.5 and 11.5 percent
slope and bias adjustments to protein and oil: the profitability of
the calibrations so that the Canola $10 per tonne over 40 percent oil farming is decreasing.
instruments is setup to accu- Wheat 15 percent = 300 tonne Technology is the
Estimated additional
rately and reproducibly analyses tonnage delivered into Barley 30 percent = 500 tonne only option for farm-
new samples of each grain. premium grades: ers to improve their
Canola 25 percent = 250 tonne
The CropScan 1000G profitability through
Wheat $4500
includes means of adjusting the Additional Profit improving efficiency.
Barley $15000
slope and bias for each calibra- generated: As such, farmers
tion. Canola $2500 are buying more
This is important in order Investment: $12500 automated tractors,
to align the predicted results Return per year: $21000 seeders and com-
with an external laboratory or bines and sprayers
another instrument’s results. with weed indentify-
For farmers there is an Autocalibration mode Instrument investment payback ing sensors are becoming more common. All
in the instrument’s software that prompts Although different countries have differ- these devices offer the possibility of reducing
the operator to analyse a reference sample ent marketing options which will affect the the costs of farming; however they do not
and then adjust the results to align the instru- investment payback, the following scenario provide a means of increasing the price
ment to reference sample. has been chosen for a typical board acre received for the farmer’s crops.
farm in Australia. The CropScan 1000G is a relatively
Wheat with pro- low-cost instrument that has the potential
tein above 10.5 per- of reaching a payback of less than one year.
cent protein attracts
a premium of Aus$5
per percent per tonne. More inforMation:
Wheat with protein Phillip Clancy
above 13 percent an NIR Technology Systems
additional premium is B1, 366 Edgar Street, Condell Park
paid. Barley falls into NSW, Australia
malting grade if the Tel: +61 2 97715444
protein is between Email: nirtech@nirtech.net
Website: www.nirtech.net
9 and 12 percent.
Figure 4: Plot or predicted moisture vs reference moisture Canola attracts a pre-

24 | november - december 2010 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy


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