Crop Services N Sensor

Crop Services in the Scottish Borders, Northumberland and Fife, Scotland


N Sensor

Yara N-Sensor - the perfect fertiliser strategy


Fields that are farmed in a uniform manner show an enormous difference in the nutrient supply to the plants. Each sub-area shows an individual optimum yield and thus an optimal nitrogen supply. If this optimum is under-stepped, yield is below potential. If the optimum is exceeded, the dangers of excess nutrients and disease increase. The grain quality, expressed as protein content, suffers in both cases.

The fertiliser requirement is deduced from the nutrient supply in the soil and the latest nitrogen uptake of plants. For this reason the optimum is not the same every year but differs, according to weather and soil, enormously in each area. Farmers can react with a flexible fertilisation strategy.

Yara N-Sensor ALS


The YARA N-Sensor ALS is composed of two sensor heads. Photodiodes measure the crop’s light reflectance. The YARA N-Sensor works with its own activelight source (ALS)  through built-in Xenon flash lamps and can thus be used independently of the time of day and light conditions.


Yara N-Sensor




The YARA N-Sensor consists of a spectrometer that is connected with lenses across five light conductors. These collect the differences in nutrient supply of plants and the changes in the surrounding light. All of these measurements finally flow into the results and the fertilisation recommendations. The YARA N-sensor is dependent on daylight; during the fertilising season it has an optimal working time of up to 11 hours a day.

Compatible and independent

Dependent on the plant height, the crops will be scanned by the YARA N-sensor roughly 5 to 6 metres left and right of the tramline. Both sensor types can be mounted easily on nearly all sprayers and applicators, which can be regulated electronically, independent of manufacturer and type. The communication takes place via serial interfaces or via the Isobus adaptor. The YARA N-Sensor is controlled from the driver’s cabin using the Topcon X20 multi-functional display.




Simple to operate Work screen


 x20 screen



Nitrogen fertilisation is carried out in 3 steps with the YARA N-Sensor: measure-calculate-control. Whilst crossing the field the sensor permanently records the light reflection of the plants as an indicator of their current nitrogen uptake. This data is translated into a fertiliser application recommendation using the X20. Each sensor measurement is assigned a certain nitrogen amount through an agronomic calibration.  The X20 display sends the calculated values to the fertiliser applicator every second, which then varies the amount of fertiliser spread accordingly. Results from over 200 trials confirm the advantages of sensor supported nitrogen fertilisation using the YARA N-sensor:

• Up to 7% higher yield

• Up to 80% less lodging risk

• Up to 20% increased performance of the combine harvester

• Homogenous crops stands

• Improved nitrogen balance

• Increased quality of raw protein and oil content

Although the YARA N-sensor was first developed for variable nitrogen fertilisation it has now become a platform for further uses. Apart from nitrogen fertilisation in winter wheat, winter rape, potatoes and maize farmers can also use the YARA N-sensor to apply variable growth regulators and for killing off potato foliage.

The software is also capable of variably applying P and K from prescription maps.



Crop Services N Sensor

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