Vertical farming’s incredible efficiency...

99PanozAIV

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“These upright farms take up only 2 acres yet produce 720 acres worth of fruit and vegetables. Lighting, temperature and watering are controlled by AI-controlled robots. Sunlight is emulated by LED panels, so food is grown in optimal conditions 24/7. And water is recycled and evaporated water recaptured so there is virtually no waste.

The operation is so efficient it uses 99 percent less land and 95 percent less water than normal farming operations.

"Imagine a 1,500-acre farm," Storey says. "Now, imagine that fitting inside your favorite grocery store, growing up to 350 times more. That's efficient."“

...

“Plenty's web site explains vertical farming "free agriculture from the constraints of weather, seasons, time, distance, pests, natural disasters and climate."

Also noteworthy is that the crops are grown "GMO-free" and use no pesticides or herbicides, according to Plenty.”


 

EarlsFat

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A VERY interesting concept - not very different from mushroom farms.

Park one of those in every major city and you'd cure hunger real quick. You'd have the traditional farmers for flavor, and the vertical hot houses for quantity. If they figured out how to get natural sunlight / air / rain into the production cycle they'd put traditional farmers out of business in short order.
 

EarlsFat

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If people start growing weed on the scale that we need 3+ story buildings... the cheetos factory right next to it will be absolutely MASSIVE.
 

truxter

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Hydroponics have been around since the 70s, or before.
 

truxter

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Agree, but this isn't necessarily a new thing. They also don't say anything about the energy requirements to run the show. We aren't really short of farmland, so I miss the point, I guess.
 

EarlsFat

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The point is some asshole theoretical farmer wants to spend shitloads of money to do something that has worked for thousands of years in a new way. Neat, but kind of impractical given the hard costs. So yeah... farmland is abundant... kinda makes the whole thing pointless unless someone gets a huge goverment grant to do this and put traditional farmers out of business. Likely to be the next solyndra though.
 

99PanozAIV

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It has a lot of built in savings though.
No lost harvests because of weather variability, because there is none.
No need for pesticides.
No need for herbicides so no glyphosate.
No need to try to engineer crops to be glyphosate resistant or for different climates because climate is completely controlled.
No need for large tracts of farmable land.
No need for working the fields with very expensive tractors, plows, planters, tillers, harvesters, etc.
Japan supposedly has a number of these that are off to a good start. Farmable land of course is at a premium there.
 

EarlsFat

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I'd imagine the cost of the facility would move than offset the cost of traditional farm equipment... particularly depending on the crop. Hot house crops that have a lot of humidity have problems with rust/oxidation/deterioration... so the facility would require more exotic materials, driving the cost even higher.

Having it all in one location... THAT is a major savings. The savings on labor cost and potential equipment fuel reductions are enormous.
The "less chemicals" portion make it very attractive IMHO.


Personally I think the current food supply has too much estrogen in it, making the men weak and everyone bitchy. I'm serious about that too.
 

99PanozAIV

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Just found this interesting video breaking down costs/profits and opportunities. It depends on the crop, the country and energy costs. It appears very viable for some crops almost anywhere and nearly impossible for others no matter where.

 
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