'Dipstick' Measures Soil Health for Farmers & Urban Planners

TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 2 (UPI) — A “dipstick” that measures soil health could be available to farmers and urban planners within the year, scientists at Tel Aviv University said.

“Through a small hole in the surface of the Earth, we can assess what lies beneath it,” university Geology Professor Eyal Ben-Dor said in a release Friday.

The Optical Soil Dipstick, which Ben-Dor invented, instantly could tell farmers if their crops are getting the right mix of minerals, Ben-Dor said.

The dipstick has been tested in California on organic farms that need to prove they are free of chemicals and it could be used to catch environmental polluters, he said.

The thin catheter-like device, which costs about $10,000, instantly analyzes chemical and physical properties, relaying the data to a handheld device or computer, said Ben-Dor who is searching for financial partners to help commercialize the device.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Chemicals, Other
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