Ancient Techniques, Local Communities, Myths and Texas Heat: Exploring Agtech Trends Pt. 5

“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing towards what will be.”

Khalil Gibran

The agriculture industry is facing a number of challenges, including climate change, population growth, and food security. To meet these challenges, farmers need to adopt new technologies and practices. Agtech, or agricultural technology, is the use of technology to improve the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of agriculture.

Indoor farms and hydroponics are two of the most promising Agtech advancements in 2023. These technologies offer a number of advantages over traditional agriculture, including:

  • Increased productivity: Indoor farms can produce more food per unit of space than traditional farms. This is because they can be located in urban areas, where land is scarce.

  • Reduced water usage: Indoor farms use less water than traditional farms. This is because they can control the amount of water that is used.

  • Year-round production: Indoor farms can produce crops year-round, regardless of the weather. This is important in areas with seasonal growing conditions.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Plants are grown in a nutrient solution, which is delivered to the roots through a variety of methods. Hydroponics offers a number of advantages over traditional soil-based agriculture, including:

  • Increased yields: Hydroponic plants can produce higher yields than soil-based plants. This is because the plants have better access to nutrients and water.

  • Reduced pests and diseases: Hydroponic plants are less susceptible to pests and diseases than soil-based plants. This is because the plants are grown in a controlled environment.

  • Better quality produce: Hydroponic produce is often of higher quality than soil-based produce. This is because the plants are grown in a clean and controlled environment.

Indoor farms and hydroponics are still in their early stages of development, but they have the potential to revolutionize agriculture.

Indoor farms and hydroponics are important for a number of reasons. First, they can help to address the challenges of climate change. As the climate changes, it will become more difficult to grow crops in traditional ways. Indoor farms and hydroponics can be used to grow crops in a controlled environment, regardless of the weather.

Second, indoor farms and hydroponics can help to meet the challenges of population growth. The world's population is growing, and this is putting a strain on the food supply. Indoor farms and hydroponics can be used to produce more food in a smaller space.

Third, indoor farms and hydroponics can help to improve food security. Food security is the ability of people to have access to enough safe and nutritious food. Indoor farms and hydroponics can be used to grow crops in areas where food is scarce.

Even thought there has been some shake ups in the Agtech space, the future of indoor farms and hydroponics is bright. These technologies are becoming more efficient and affordable, and they are being adopted by farmers around the world. As these technologies continue to develop, they will play an increasingly important role in feeding the world.

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

Vox | The myths we tell ourselves about American farming

From the Article:

If you were to guess America’s biggest source of water pollution, chemical factories or oil refineries might come to mind. But it’s actually farms — especially those raising cows, pigs, and chickens.

The billions of animals farmed each year in the US for food generate nearly 2.5 billion poundsof waste every day — around twice as much as people do — yet none of it is treated like human waste. It’s either stored in giant pits, piled high as enormous mounds on farms, or spread onto crop fields as fertilizer. And a lot of it washes away into rivers and streams, as does synthetic fertilizer from the farms growing corn and soy to feed all those animals.

ABC13 | Drought, climate instability in southeast Texas is affecting agriculture, farmers say

From the Article:

Record-breaking drought conditions are putting farmers and ranchers out of business. According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, it's something that's affecting all Texans. Why? Because it means our food supply statewide is taking a hit. The conditions are leading to the lack of rain, and extreme heat severely impacts productivity. These conditions are leading to water use restrictions, fire threats, and putting farm workers at risk.

"I mean, it's dead, crispy, toast," Greg Mast, the director of agriculture at Hope Farms, said.

Sierra Club | In a New Climate Reality, Community May Be a Farmer’s Greatest Resource

From the Article:

The 10th of July had been a typical day at work for Caroline Hauser until she received an urgent email from the Intervale Center and its farms. They were calling for volunteers. The Intervale Center, a nonprofit farming cooperative in Burlington, Vermont, was bracing for intense rains and flooding forecasted to hit in the next 24 hours. It needed all hands on deck to harvest everything they could before disaster struck. Hauser messaged her manager to say she needed the day off.

Hauser has been a Burlington resident since 2015 and a regular volunteer at the Intervale Center since 2019. She and her husband are summer and winter CSA members—she estimates that 80 to 90 percent of their food comes directly from the Intervale’s seven organic farms. Membership with the Intervale Center makes her feel grounded in her community and the land. “Really feeling a sense of connection to the food that’s nourishing me—it’s a sense of place that I haven’t found anywhere else,” she says. 

Scientific American | This Astoundingly Simple Ancient Technique Is Helping to Beat Back Drought

From the Article:

Narrator: For decades, the Southwest has been crippled by a growing crisis. The worst drought seen in over a thousand years. But in Tucson, one man has been trying to change that narrative, one house, one neighborhood at a time. 

Brad Lancaster: Grew up here in Tucson and saw the water situation get worse over time. As the groundwater table dropped, saw a lot of springs drying up. I wanted to figure out solutions. And I just took off and started tracking people down and experimenting.

Rajendra Singh: Now you are in the center of water wisdom. 

Lancaster: And that's when I learned about Singh and the amazing work being done to reclaim five dying rivers. 


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