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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366224

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Application of neutron-gamma technologies in agriculture

Author
item KAVETSKIY, ALEKSANDR - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item YAKUBOVA, GALINA - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Torbert, Henry - Allen

Submitted to: American Nuclear Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2019
Publication Date: 10/24/2019
Citation: Kavetskiy, A., Yakubova, G., Prior, S.A., Torbert III, H.A. 2019. Application of neutron-gamma technologies in agriculture. Transactions of the American Nuclear Society. 121(1):539-541. https://doi.org/10.13182/T31237.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13182/T31237

Interpretive Summary: Nuclear technologies are currently used in industry, science and technology, and security. One promising method is the use of neutron gamma technologies in agriculture. Agricultural productivity and profitability require exact information on chemical composition of soil, composts, and fertilizers. Traditional methods are labor intensive, time consuming, and require large sample numbers for laboratory chemical analysis. Neutron-stimulated gamma analysis can be used for on site measurements of elements in agricultural soils (e.g., C, Si, O, H, Fe, and K), C:N ratio of composts, and Cl contamination of soils. Work at USDA-ARS NSDL has shown that this is a feasible and reliable nondestructive method that requires no sample preparation and can measure many elements in large volumes.

Technical Abstract: Different nuclear technologies are widely used today in different areas of industry, science and technology, and security. One promising direction is the application of neutron gamma technologies in agriculture. Productivity and profitability of modern agricultural practices require exact knowledge on chemical composition of large volumes (dozen, hundreds, thousands cubic meters) of such things as soil, composts, and fertilizers. Traditional chemical analysis is labor extensive and time consuming that require large number of samples to be collected for laboratory processing. The neutron-stimulated gamma analysis method can be used for in situ measurements of primary elements in agricultural soils (e.g., C, Si, O, H, Fe, and K), C:N ratio of composts, and Cl contamination of soils. This method is a nondestructive analysis that requires no sample preparation and can perform multi-elemental analyses of large volumes that are negligibly impacted by local sharp changes in elemental content. Recent USDA-ARS NSDL developments concerning the application of neutron gamma analysis in the aforementioned directions will be discussed.