UNL Doctoral Student Develops Software Platform to Improve Nitrogen Applications

Stansell receiving check
Members of the Husker Venture Fund awarded the first investment of $25,000 to Jackson Stansell, a biological systems engineering doctoral student at Nebraska. The HVF is a student-led venture capital fund that invests in Nebraska-owned early-stage startups. Pictured from left are students and managing directors of the fund Keith Nordling, Adam Folsom and Emily Kist, alongside Stansell. (Photo by Garrett Stolz)

UNL Doctoral Student Develops Software Platform to Improve Nitrogen Applications

In these times of interrupted supply chains and rising nitrogen prices, precision techniques for the application of fertilizer to crops is increasingly important.

In his recently-completed master’s program, Nebraska’s Jackson Stansell — now a doctoral student in agricultural engineering — focused on using crop canopy image data to apply nitrogen fertilizer more efficiently. To scale up the technology he launched a start-up business, Sentinel Fertigation, and conducted testing through the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. The work confirmed that the system works, with an average boost of 25% in efficiency and a savings of 45 pounds of nitrogen per acre — a significant savings as nitrogen costs hover around $1 per acre.

Stansell appeared live on RFD-TV on Feb. 22 to discuss the project. His startup also recently collected $25,000 as the inaugural Husker Venture Fund award recipient. Offered through the College of Business, the fund is managed by University of Nebraska–Lincoln students and created by alumni and donors.

To learn more about Stansell’s fertigation research in this project, watch the interview.

Watch the interview

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