NMR Measurement of Underground Crops

This project will provide farmers with the ability to estimate the water content (and, consequently, dry matter content) in starchy plants like potatoes and cassava. This will better define the harvest date and allow the growth conditions of the crop to be tuned accordingly. For crop breeders, the success of a new breed can only be determined after the crop has mostly matured (nearly a year for cassava), but with dry matter content measurements throughout the lifecycle of the crop, a breeder can determine the promise of a breed much earlier, perhaps even in the first month. The project depends on how alternating magnetic fields change the orientation of proton magnetic moments in water. A prototype has been created but isn’t yielding results. By adding a second coil, we will troubleshoot and potentially redesign the setup, so we can return a stronger differential output.

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