This section provides an overview for chlorophyll meter as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 chlorophyll meters manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
A chlorophyll meter is a simple and non-destructive instrument for estimating chlorophyll concentration.
In modern agriculture, increasing yield, protecting the environment, and reducing costs are important issues, which require appropriate nitrogen fertilization. In order to properly apply nitrogen fertilizer, it is necessary to understand the nutritional status of the crop.
Chlorophyll is a pigment responsible for plant photosynthesis and generally increases with nitrogen content, resulting in darker green leaves. Therefore, it is possible to determine the nutritional status of crops by measuring chlorophyll concentration.
The chlorophyll meters were developed as part of the Soil & Plant Analyzer Development (SPAD) project for field management of rice plants.
The instrument can be used for all crops, as long as the leaf width is 2 mm or more, the thickness of the leaf is thick enough to be sandwiched between the measuring section, and the amount of transmitted light is sufficient. The system can measure a wide range of plants, including rice and other grains, cotton, vegetables and fruits, as well as ornamental plants and green trees.
Because of its portable size, it is used to directly measure live crop leaves in the field for fertilizer management to improve quality and increase yields.
Chlorophyll absorption peaks are generally in the blue region (400 nm to 500 nm) and the red region (600 nm to 700 nm), but the absorption wavelengths of other pigments, such as carotenoid pigments, are also in the blue region and their peaks overlap. On the other hand, light in the infrared region above 700 nm is hardly absorbed by any pigment.
Taking advantage of this, the difference in optical density can be measured by alternately exposing the sample to light in the red region, whose peak wavelength is around 650 nm, and light in the infrared region, whose peak wavelength is around 940 nm.
Optical density is a logarithmic number that indicates the degree to which light is absorbed and reduced.
The light emitting part of the chlorophyll meters incorporates two light sources, an LED with a peak wavelength in the red region near 650 nm and an LED in the infrared region near 940 nm, and the light transmitted through the sample is converted into electricity by the light receiving element (photoelectric conversion).
Based on the difference in the measured optical density, the "SPAD value," a numerical value indicating the degree to which light from the LEDs in the red region is absorbed, is determined and displayed.
The name "SPAD value" is derived from the aforementioned Soil and Crop Analytical Instrument Development Project (SPAD).
The chlorophyll meters are very easy to use to measure the amount of chlorophyll, but there is a limit to the size of the leaves that can be measured.
If the leaf area is smaller than 2 mm in length and 3 mm in width, it cannot be measured. Leaf thickness is limited to 1.2 mm, so plants with thick leaves cannot be measured. In addition, since the values for leaves with many veins vary from place to place, it is recommended to measure multiple locations and use the average value of those measurements.
In addition to chlorophyll meters, chlorophyll can also be extracted from leaves using chemicals and measured using a spectrophotometer. In this case, the method differs depending on the location of the chlorophyll to be extracted.
Chemicals used for extraction include acetone, methanol, and dimethylformamide.
If the leaves are used as they are to extract chlorophyll, dimethylformamide is used. In the case of these measurement methods, the leaves are chopped into small pieces or soaked in the chemicals for a certain period of time, if necessary.
Therefore, samples such as leaves are collected from trees or plant bodies and used only for chlorophyll measurement. Therefore, compared to these methods, the chlorophyll meters can be said to measure chlorophyll in a non-destructive manner.
The chlorophyll meters are widely used in agriculture. Since chlorophyll can be measured directly on plants growing in fields and rice paddies, it is used to determine the timing of harvest and fertilizer application.
For example, chlorophyll meters are used to determine the nutritional status of rice plants by utilizing the correlation between the nitrogen content of the plant body and chlorophyll content. In this way, values that could previously only be determined by collecting samples and subjecting them to analysis after pretreatment can now be easily obtained on-site.
In addition to measuring chlorophyll, which is typical of chlorophyll, the system is also used to measure β-carotene content.
Rice, which is used to feed cattle, is harvested and fed at a time of high nutritional value to help manage efficient fattening. This allows for more objective, numerical measurement of the nutritional content of the cattle, which until now has relied on individual judgment, such as visual inspection.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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