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Posts tagged with ‘agriculture’

Food for the City

The local-food movement is blossoming, with farmers markets springing up all over the United States. Demand for fresh produce and a desire to invest in local economies are driving this growth. Consumers show increased interest in “food transparency”—what the USDA’s Arthur Neal defines as the “full story behind how our food is produced.” Improved marketing, he says, using tools like social media and electronic forms of payment, is also contributing to the boom.

Are Fish the Future of Organic Farming?

Using a fraction of the energy and water required for traditional agriculture, aquaponics produces food in a closed, completely organic ecosystem powered by fish, bacteria and other organisms.

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The Future of Horticulture with Robots

The horticulture industry has caught the attention of several robotics industry veterans, including Joe Jones, a co-inventor of iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaning robot. What they see is an opportunity to develop a small, relatively inexpensive, mobile material handling robot. Their venture-backed company has been field testing the robots at 11 nurseries around the country, and plans to release its first product at the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter next year.

Harvest Automation bootstrapped the development of prototype robots and received its seed funding from its customers, said CEO Charles Grinnell. The company landed $5 million in venture capital funding from Life Sciences Partners, the Midpoint Food & Ag Fund, and the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation.

In today’s human-tended nurseries, immature potted trees and shrubs arrive at nurseries by truck and are offloaded onto the ground. Teams of migrant workers — undocumented for the most part — spread the plants out one by one following markers outlining a grid. When the plants are ready to be shipped out later in the season, workers reverse the process to group the plants for loading onto trucks. “We’ve recognized the need for robotics in the nursery industry for moving pots because it’s one of our highest concentrations of labor use,” said Tom Demaline, president of Willoway Nurseries, Inc. in Avon, Ohio.

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Vertical farms solve land problem in Singapore

With land prices at a premium in Singapore, vertical farms with rotating vertical racks present a sustainable solution while cutting down pollution.

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The Shale Revolution and Hydraulic Fracturing

Shoal Point Energy Ltd is a petroleum exploration and development company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Company was formed in December 2006 to pursue oil and gas exploration opportunities within Atlantic Canada. Shoal Point has a 100% interest in the shallow rights in Exploration Licence 1070 in the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador comprising approximately 150,000 acres of oil-in-shale.

In addition, Shoal Point has an agreement to earn a net 80% interest in the 67,298 acres of Green Point Shale (shallow rights) of EL 1120 which is owned by Ptarmigan Energy Inc and also holds a 100% working interest in all rights in EL 1097R with a 2% gross overriding interest. The total potential gross acreage in the Green Point Shale is approximately 720,000 acres. 

In this video, the Shoal Point Energy President discusses the “Shale Revolution" as part of a Technological Revolution in the Oil & Gas industry, including development of horizontal drilling and advancements in the stimulation of the reservoir (Hydraulic fracturing).

Farmers Turn to Data Harvests

U.S. farmers are getting help from a new kind of farmhand: iPads and other gadgets that help them plant seeds in ways that maximize harvests.

Climate Change Threatens South Africa Tea Crops

The health benefits of a unique tea called Rooibos has helped create a multi-million dollar a year industry in South Africa.

The plant only grows in some parts of the Western Cape. Attempts to grow it in similar dry regions of Australia, China and the United States have all failed.

Now, experts are predicting increased temperatures and erratic rainfall in the region, and tea growers say that climate change is putting the crop’s future - and the industry as a whole - at risk.

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