University of Missouri scientists have played a key role in developing new technology that takes the guesswork out of deciding how much nitrogen to apply to crops. The technology has the potential to keep money in farmers’ pockets and help protect the environment. With “on-the-go sensing,” optical sensors mounted in front of a tractor or fertilizer applicator measure the color and size of plants. An on-board computer uses this data to control the rate that fertilizer is released as the farmer drives through a field. See how in this video (2:09).