New platform might enable better crop yields

Source: Fresh Plaza

In order to achieve a high level of confidence in new agricultural products, R&D must be focused on examining new plants or the effect of new materials on the plant. This need for accurate and reliable information led ICL (Israel Chemicals LTD.), the world’s largest Israeli provider of plant nutrition solutions, to adopt the Plantarray diagnostic system.

The system is a fully automated, sensor-based phenotyping platform that enables scientists, breeders and researchers to quickly and easily perform a simultaneous performance analysis of the entire plant. The system measures the movement of water from the roots of the plant until its release into the atmosphere (plant transpiration), the accumulation of biomass, the efficiency in the use of water and nutrients, the activity of the key physiological traits of the plant. plant as well as the environment and conclude how productive the plant is under various environmental conditions.

It is used in a greenhouse as preliminary tests for field trials and thus enhances separate investigation of field disturbances. The technology was developed at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yaron Beer, ICL’s Global Field Experiment Manager: “In the first experiment, we had a very surprising experience. After a few days, we had statistically analyzed the results that gave a very quick push in the right direction. In regular trials, we would get these results only after months of hard work. Even for existing products, the system allows us to uncover layers that have been hidden from us until now. The ability to obtain absolute information from the system on plant performance and soil conditions allows us to identify and even refine the guidelines for applying the material to farmers.”