Global climate change, increasing populations, depleting resources and corporate monopolies strain the resources needed by billions of people globally. In addition, the current agriculture systems contribute to the problem through farming inefficiencies, increasing use of herbicides and pesticides, and rampant genetic modification. Rather than blame technology, VividGro believes that the answer to the failing system is technology.
Indoor agriculture, by its very nature, addresses and even ends many pressing environmental concerns. Due to the closed, controlled environment, precision farming can reduce or eliminate the need for herbicides and pesticides. The result is healthier products and workers, a higher quality of life, and lower operating costs. Weather variables are eliminated, as rainfall and optimal temperatures are no longer left to chance. Water efficiency is increased, with little water wasted in runoff, blown away by the wind, and lost through surface evaporation. A significant portion of expense for indoor farms lie in utility costs. Through the use of solar panels, farmers can reduce or even eliminate electrical draw on civil infrastructure. In addition, use of LED lights, like VividGro’s GroBarTM feature low power consumption, requiring around 30% less electricity to run as compared with industry standard fluorescents. All of these components contribute to increase individual, small and large-scale grower self-sufficiency and sustainability, and support a healthy environment.
Taking technology a step further, systems like VividGro’s GroNetTM offers an “intelligent farm” platform that enables the indoor agriculture community to optimize crop yields and profitability. Features for sensing, monitoring, alerting and automating (SMAA) combine in this low cost end-to-end solution powered by the Internet of Things (IoT). Currently, farmers exert extensive time and effort testing soil samples for acidity, monitoring for pests, and looking for trouble spots. They rely on schedules for irrigation rather than true need. Smart systems remove the guesswork – and the grunt work – putting the control in the hands of the producer with very little effort.
Farmers of the future stand to benefit from adapting to these evolving trends, rather than shrinking from them.