Fertilization even smarter with N-Pilot® 2.0

The N-Pilot® is a portable reflectometer measuring the nitrogen nutritional status of crops by assessing the plants chlorophyll content and the amount of biomass.

The N-Pilot® provides a nitrogen fertilization recommendation that includes fertilizer applications for cereals and the total N-requirement for rape seed after winter.


New N-Pilot® 2.0


The new N-Pilot® 2.0 adds sensors to your mobile phone to measure the nitrogen requirements of cereals and rapeseed.  The sensors measure light reflection (green colouring of the plants) and your smartphone calculates a vegetation index and the fertilization recommendation.

Accurate, timely determination of nitrogen requirements increases the efficiency of the fertilizers used. Efficient use of fertilizers is crucial for both the economic success and sustainability of nitrogen fertilization. The device has been developed in collaboration with Metos by Pessl Instruments and is characterized by the following features and improvements:


  • the tool is much smaller and easier to handle
  • NFC connection between the sensor and the smartphone
    - fast data transmission (55 kb/s)
    - NFC starts the N-Pilot® 2.0 directly via contact with the smartphone
  • the tool uses nanosystem technology (NEMS), multispectral broadband sensors and ultrasonic distance sensor
    - the broadband sensors make it possible to determine various vegetation indices
    - the distance sensor measures the distance to the plants and/or the height of the plants
  • the new N-Pilot® 2.0 can also be operated over longer distances via Bluetooth connection (this enables it to be installed on agricultural vehicles)


The new N-Pilot® 2.0 will be presented for the first time at Agritechnica in Hanover from 12 to 18 November 2023. The device (including new software) will be available for use in the field in spring 2024.

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Measurement on Cereals
Measurement on Cereals
Measurement on Rapeseed
Measurement on Rapeseed
New possibilites - the new N-Pilot® software
New possibilites - the new N-Pilot® software
Measurements on cereals


For an optimized nitrogen fertilization

  1. Estimating the total nitrogen requirement of your crop.(Using NutriGuide)
  2. Splitting this total dose into several applications. 
  3. Using the N-Pilot® to adjust nitrogen top-dressings for a targeted yield and protein content.


Crop measurement periods (growth stages):

  • Soft wheat: at 2-nodes stage and at ear emergence
  • Hard wheat: at 2-nodes stage and at ear emergence
  • Spring wheat: at 2-nodes stage and at ear emergence
  • Winter/spring barley: 1-2-nodes stage


How to use the N-Pilot® in the field:

The use of the N-pilot is based on a comparison between an over-fertilized zone (reference zone) and the rest of the field. The new N-Pilot® 2.0 can measure without a reference zone with satellite support. However, we recommend to create a reference zone for calibrating the N-Pilot®.


The reference zone is part of the field to be checked. This calibration allows the tool to account for all other parameters such as variety, previous crop, type of soil, sowing condition, plant health protection, etc.). The only difference between the reference zone and the rest of the field lies in the nitrogen status. Nitrogen is not a limiting factor in the reference zone. Each measurement is expressed as a percentage of the index obtained on the reference zone. Advice to readjust the nitrogen dose is provided instantly.

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Measurement on rapeseed


The N-Pilot® allows to estimate quickly and precisely your rapeseed biomass.  By measuring the reflectance, the N-Pilot® can estimate the biomass without manual weighing on the field. The method approved by Terres Inovia offers a biomass measurement precision up to 170 g/m² compared to manual weighting. The measurements can be repeated as often as needed to obtain the best results.


Calculation of the nitrogen requirement (reglette azote® from Terre Inovia)

The N-Pilot® provides a total nitrogen fertilization recommendation by assessing the biomass in the field. Estimating the amount of nitrogen uptake by the plants during winter is important to determine the fertilization requirement in spring. The N-Pilot® application is linked with the nitrogen calculation developed by Terres Inovia. 



How to use the N-Pilot® in the field:

The measurements are carried out once the tool has been calibrated in a stationary position on naked soil. All the measurements are geo-located in order to detect intra-plot variations. The assessment does not require an internet connection, facilitating to get recommendations directly in the field.

New possibilites - the new N-Pilot® software

The new software solution focuses on the field and offers not only a simpler user interface, but also additional innovative functions:

  • Support from satellite data (Sentinel-2) for tailored fertilization to different yield potentials within a field. - Creation of application maps for variable rate fertilisation, for small areas or with frequent cloud cover. - Support of geo-referenced measurements - identification of suitable measuring points.
    - Verification of satellite-based application maps (ground truthing of older satellite data)
  • Integration of tailored fertilization planning
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