Good Monday, fellow nerds! 👋🏻 It’s time to start the week with some industry headlines from the agtech sector. 👨🏻🌾🚜 There’s a lot going on to excite anyone’s inner nerd, so I’ll just delve right in.
USDA Supports Development of CEA Training
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is growing fast. (Pun intended.) So fast, in fact, that the USDA recently gave the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ School of Integrative Plant Science a grant specifically to launch a program providing the technical training necessary for successful CEA operations. The benefit? More CEA applications — like vertical farms — could mean shorter supply chains and healthier populations worldwide.
Germany’s AgrarCycle Bolsters AgTech Innovations
Speaking of vertical farming, Germany is throwing its hat in the ring with the AgrarCycle network. The brainchild of researchers at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, AgrarCycle aims to make vertical farming more sustainable and economical so that fresh produce can be available to consumers close to where they live — especially in areas where traditional farming isn’t possible. 👨🌾
Fifth Season’s Massive Vertical Farm Serves Produce to Pittsburgh
Futuristic, low-waste vertical farming has already arrived in Pittsburgh, PA, courtesy of Fifth Season. Leafy greens and herbs grow abundantly in the company’s 60,000-square-foot indoor facility, monitored with AI and tended by robotics. Locals can order produce directly from the Fifth Season website, and a surprising new partnership is providing the opportunity for the company to start expanding into new varieties.
India Eyes ERP Platforms for a Better Food System
Does the term “enterprise resource planning” bring to mind images of suited C-level execs in board rooms? (Or, in the current state of things, donning their Zoom shirts for a conference call? 👩💼👨💼) It’s time to broaden that mental picture to include farmers. In India, ERP platforms designed specifically for farm applications are bringing transparency and traceability to the food supply chain.
This Huge Urban Farm in Paris Uses No Soil
Meanwhile, in Paris, some residents need go no farther than a local rooftop to get fresh greens, veggies and fruit.🥗🍓🍅🍆🌿 Nature Urbaine has taken over an area just shy of 16,000 square feet of rooftop space in the city and turned it into an aeroponic farm. There’s no need for soil or irrigation; a wide variety of food grows in coconut fiber and, believe it or not, thin air with the help of some nutrient-rich mist. And Nature Urbaine has its sights set on growing even more — as many as 35 different kinds of plant foods. (Excuse me; I’m getting hungry!)
That’s your peek into agtech for today. Stay tuned for another edition of The Modern Health Nerd! 🤓🌱
Delight someone else’s inner nerd! 👇🏻👇🏻