Lab and Field Nitrate Testing of Feed Crops

Period of Performance: 01/01/2001 - 12/31/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

The Nitrate Elimination Company, Inc
334 Hecla Street
Lake Linden, MI 49945
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


NECi, The Nitrate Elimination Co., Inc. has developed a series of nitrate test kits based on the enzyme NADH: Nitrate Reductase purified from corn seedlings. The method has been used successfully for biomedical research since 1995, and NECi's test kits have been on the market for analysis of water, wastewater, and other aqueous samples since 1998. Simplified and environmentally benign Fields kits for on-site analysis were introduced in late 1998, and a Consumer Kit late in 1999. The purpose of this project is to determine the utility of enzyme-based nitrate analysis for protection of livestock from nitrate toxicity due to consumption of feed with excessive nitrate content. Field and lab personnel have cited the need for alternative nitrate analytical methods. This need was clearly demonstrated during the drought in the Eastern U.S. during the 1999 growing season. The main technical barrier is to establish a reproducible yet field-usable extraction method for corn and wheat. We will then demonstrate that enzyme-based nitrate analysis can provide reliable data from these sample types, in the lab and in the field. Replicate samples will be prepared and analyzed using automated on-line Cadmium reduction and by ion chromatography to validate the utility of the method.