Flooding, Robot Bees and a Tipping Point: Exploring Agtech Trends

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

With so much happening in the world and with so much focus on the CEA space, it can be easy to lose sight of what it’s all for. In the end, Agriculture is about sustaining the human life. Whether that’s through cattle or crops. As the human existence progresses, so must the industry that sustains it.

So what is Eden Green contributing to the progress in the Agtech arena? Lets dive into a few ways that we are working hard to push Agtech forward!

Patented Microclimates

Designed to result in faster and higher quality harvests, our microclimates act as a more efficient and zero waste personalized incubator for each plant grown in our greenhouses.

Each plant’s roots receives the precise nutrient mix through a temperature controlled and filtered closed loop water system every 90 seconds, resulting in faster and higher quality harvests, more efficiency and less waste.

  • Responsive air control for oxygen and carbon dioxide, our microclimates can adjust temperature and humidity in seconds.

  • Rather than having to condition 100% of the greenhouse environment like a traditional greenhouse, we focus on the area around each individual plant. 

  • We can grow up to 200+ products in one vertical farm, saving energy and allowing for multi-crop cultivation

Proprietary Mobile Light Bars

Designed to optimize yield, morphology, and efficiency, Eden Green’s mobile light bars provide quality supplemental lights to the plants when and where they require it.

  • LED light bars guarantee consistent weight and higher quality products by providing quality supplemental light at specific locations and times, as needed by our plants. 

  • The mobile light bars have resulted in a 60% increase in yield using 90% less light energy than other vertical farms.

Hyperresponsive MEP Container

Designed for ease of shipping, quick plug and play installation, and modular design, our MEP containers  create a level of data-driven efficiency and hyper-responsive custom controls that make our solution more resilient and consistent in various climates and weather conditions.

  • Grow tropical or cold weather plants with different recipes in neighboring zones without compromising the product quality or system efficiency.

  • The MEP containers are more efficient and resilient – ensuring exact temperature control and removing vulnerabilities associated with extreme cold or heat.

Here are 4 articles we found that outline some of the other technological advancements within the agricultural space.

Photo curtesy: Shutterstock

Winsight Grocery Business | Vertical farms reach a tipping point

From the Article:

The AppHarvest board of directors and executive leadership evaluated several strategic alternatives to maximize value for all stakeholders prior to the Chapter 11 filing,” said AppHarvest CEO Tony Martin in a statement. “The Chapter 11 filing provides protection while we work to transition operation of our strategic plan, Project New Leaf, which has shown strong progress toward operational efficiencies resulting in higher sales, cost savings and product quality.” 

AppHarvest is following the lead of its competitor, AeroFarms, which announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 8. Similarly, AeroFarms said it's working with investors to secure $10 million in debtor-in-possession financing, at the time of the announcement. The company said it also was exploring other financing “to maximize the value of the company and recovery to creditors.”  

"We are fortunate to have existing investors who continue to believe in AeroFarms and are confident that we can hit our targeted profitable operations for our Danville farm," said Guy Blanchard, president and CFO of AeroFarms, in early June. "There is incredible consumer and customer interest for our market-leading microgreens, and we are excited to continue be able to build our business to meet that demand." 

NPR | Northeast flooding ruins crops, dealing blow to farmers' livelihoods

From the Story:

Farms along the Connecticut River are experiencing losses from flooding this week. Some farmers who were just days away from harvest now face the prospect of entire crops ruined by contaminated water.

Listen to the full story with the link above ^^^

Scientific American | Robotic Bees Could Support Vertical Farms Today and Astronauts Tomorrow

From the Article:

“To truly take on food insecurity, vertical farms must expand their offerings, and that means finding a way to bring pollinators into high-tech indoor farming operations. Around one third of the crops we eat require pollinators such as bees and bats to grow. It’s difficult to get the job done in a vertical farm because domesticated honeybees, one of the most popular pollinators for commercial growers, have trouble navigatingunder artificial light, and pollinating by hand is extremely time intensive and thus expensive. To solve the problem, researchers have been working on robotic pollinators for more than a decade. But such pollinators have only recently made their way to universities and commercial operations.

Bots aren’t new to farms. Since the mid-20th century researchers have explored ways to automate agriculture, including tractors with automated steering. By the 1980s and 1990s, engineers had begun tinkering with task-specific devices such as a robotic melon harvester and tomato-picking robots. Companies are now developing autonomous bots to harvest a variety of produce, and some devices can also accomplish additional tasks, including weeding, pesticide spraying and disease monitoring. Artificial intelligence helps most of these tools organize and process information from their onboard sensors—often multispectral cameras, which can pick up on differences in the types of light reflected by plants. Those differences provide clues about a crop’s health, such as ripeness in fruit or signs of damage.”

GreenBiz | Q2 startup roundup: Cultivated meat and agtech make progress

From the Article:

“This quarter came with a diverse set of updates in the agtech space. The two major clusters I’ve seen evolve around crop protection and digital farm management tools. 

Switzerland’s Ecorobotix cashed the largest check in the crop protection space with a  $52 million round. It’s working on bringing its automated precision spraying robots for row crops and pastures to the Americas. 

Carbon Robotics also brought in a big win with a $30 million round. The startup develops an autonomous robot that uses AI and laser technology to eliminate weeds in fields without damaging crops or disturbing soil. 

Guardian Agriculture came in third with a $20 million series A, with which it aims to expand its autonomous drones to provide precision crop protection. 

This quarter’s second agtech trend again evolved around smart farm management tools. Many startups want to help farmers digitize their operations for more precise management of inputs and outputs and to measure environmental metrics such as soil carbon, water and biodiversity. 

The startups cashing in big this quarter include Agreena ($50 million), Greenlabs (38.4 million), CropX ($30 million) and Chrysalabs ($11 million). 

An additional agtech win worth knowing about evolved around more sustainable livestock. Kansas-based Vytelle bagged $20 million to improve cattle genetics with an integrated technology platform that allows the industry to speed up genetic improvements for production efficiency.”  


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