Feed and Agriculture

NIR Spectroscopy maximizes production and optimizes yield in the field, at collection points, and in the processing plant

Feed and Agriculture
The MicroNIR™ line of compact near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers embodies the latest innovations in miniaturization and repeatability

NIR Solutions for Feed and Agriculture

Public awareness of the value of safe and nutritious food is at an all-time high, and farmers are more focused than ever on maximizing productivity and optimizing quality. As a result, modern farms rely on an ever-growing toolbox of tests for determining the quality of crops, for both human consumption and animal feed. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a crucial element in that toolbox. NIRS is a non-destructive, non-invasive method of analyzing nutritional content and other critical-to-quality parameters associated with safe and nutritious food. NIRS allows farmers to maximize quality and yield by providing a means of real-time portable quantitation of essential crop characteristics.

NIRS instruments are becoming increasingly popular in agriculture because they are fast, compact, robust, and low power consumption. For example, NIRS can perform moisture analysis in seconds with the same quality of data as a traditional Koster tester, which takes upwards of 40 minutes. The dairy industry was one of the first to explore portable NIRS for feed management. A 2015 report which used NIRS instrumentation to monitor daily concentrations of dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, starch, fiber, and ash showed that the dry matter concentration of corn silage varied day to day between 25% to 41% over six months. With real-time data, farmers were able to adjust feed rations ensuring that cows received a more consistent diet and produced a larger milk yield. Additionally, NIRS has long been used in the milling process, and is now be deployed at all stages from growth to harvest. NIRS instruments are commonly used to determine the content of protein, fat, moisture, fiber, sugars, and fatty acids of grains and seeds.

The MicroNIR product line gives farmers the real-time data they need to adapt and improve crop yield quickly. Notably, the wireless handheld MicroNIR OnSite-W from VIAVI is a workhorse with a track record of reliably analyzing field crops, forage, silage, grains, seeds, flour, meal, and feeds of all varieties. VIAVI also offers compact OEM modules, facilitating integration of NIRS into existing farm equipment such as skid loaders and feed lines. At VIAVI, we understand that there can be a bit of a learning curve when implementing new technologies and VIAVI’s MicroNIR Pro software was designed from the bottom up with ease of use in mind. The built-in analysis package combines a wide range of robust chemometric modeling tools with a simple workflow to make your deployment as seamless as possible. VIAVI also offers model transfer services, a detailed software development kit, and works with several cloud-mobile partners to provide turn-key solutions across various interfaces, including smartphones and tablets.

Food quality and productivity are two of the most critical factors in modern farm management, and VIAVI is here to help. To learn more about how NIRS can improve farm productivity and quality, contact your local VIAVI representative or VIAVI Customer Service directly.

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