Category Archives: Smart Agriculture

What is the Future of Farming?

How will we double the food supply? We’d better figure it out because the world population will likely double in this century.

Is the future in bioengineering? It’s going to be a big part of it to be sure. And it’s not as evil as it is often made out to be.

However, GMO foods have raised concerns over fertility, among other issues, which we are just beginning to understand.

Regardless, bioengineering may be worth the cost if the use of pesticides can be reduced and productivity increased for hungry peoples in the developing world.

Below is a bit of a commercial for bio-engineering from The University of California, but it is also a very good introduction to what is going on at the bleeding edge of agriculture.

Click here for the video.

How Google Makes its Maps and How it is Changing the World with Them

I use Google Maps a few times a week. Whether doing research for an article, ordering pizza, or figuring a new route to run it is an invaluable tool for me.

The attached article from The Atlantic looks at the technological magic which goes into each map.

(From The Atlantic)

If Google’s mission is to organize all the world’s information, the most important challenge — far larger than indexing the web — is to take the world’s physical information and make it accessible and useful.

“If you look at the offline world, the real world in which we live, that information is not entirely online,” Manik Gupta, the senior product manager for Google Maps, told me. “Increasingly as we go about our lives, we are trying to bridge that gap between what we see in the real world and [the online world], and Maps really plays that part.”

Click here for the article.

New Urban Farming Development, Boon or Bane for Detroit?

It looks like the city of Detroit might have found a way to generate some tax revenue via a new urban farming project. Some smaller urban farmers in Detroit however are not keen to see the development as the city as the company involved in the deal has not committed to organic production and because the company is run by folks who are not “from” Detroit.

Regardless it is good to see movement on this front. We’d love to see Detroit, a city which could use a new industry, take the lead.

Click here for the story.

PepsiCo, Sustainability, and Rio+20

Large corporations have a vested interest in many issues surrounding sustainabilty, in Pepsico’s case water and farming (the 2 go together obviously) are vital as they venture farther and farther afield.

Without clean water there is no Pepsi. With no farmland there is no KFC.

In the attached Forbes article the PepsiCo sustainability talking head reiterates some typical talking points for a company such as his at the Rio+20 conference, but the fact that he feels he must, and is on the record about it is an important thing.

Click here for the article.

Aquaculture and Global Security.

Today’s Stock and Land examines the roll of aquaculture in the face of rising populations and political and environmental change.

“One of the most urgent needs of the 21st century will be to re-design the system for sustainable food production. The modern food system is utterly dependent on oil, and food in fact accounts for one-third of the world’s energy use, most of it in transport and cool storage.”

Click here for the article.

Tomato plants stacked 5 high. Potatoes floating in a hydroponic stew of nutrients. The urban farmer.

 

Urban farming on the next level.

 

 

 

Urban farming at least on a small scale is an idea who’s time has come for sure.

From Brooklyn to the Bay Area farming in the city has sprouted (sorry) up all over the place. There are even farmers markets I am told that sell only food grown on urban “farms.”

This can only be a good thing. Eating your food as close to the source as possible is a pretty good idea both for you and for the planet. It really is kind of silly that we eat strawberries grown in Argentina.

But taking urban farming to the commercial level is a different kind of challenge than getting hipster foodies to eat homegrown eggplant.

Click here for the piece in ecomagination.com on urban farming.

 

 

FreshList App Creates Useful Virtual Marketplace for Local Produce

 

This is the type of thing the Digital Revolution is all about- using technology to maximize productivity and minimize waste.

(From TriplePundit.com)

So let’s say, for example, that you’ve got a few overflowing avocado trees, many of which are rotting away unnecessarily on the ground and you need to get rid of 100 avocados quickly. As a seller, you would simply text your avocado inventory to a list of local buyers. Buyers type in “list” which brings up all the produce being sold on the market in their vicinity. Once a buyer has made their purchasing decision, the seller gets a text message with the buyer’s contact information, after which they can remove that inventory item from the list so it remains up to date for future browsing consumers.

Click here for the story.