Farmers operating horizontal farms have innovated a lot in recent years using new tools to improve or facilitate agriculture. However, “flat” or horizontal farms still use a lot of water and soil. While a Plenty Company’s “vertical farm” can produce the same amount of fruit and vegetables as a 720 acre (about 291 hectare) flat farm, but on only 2 acres (about 0.8 hectare), using robots and artificial intelligence. According to Nate Storey, co-founder of Plenty, the future of farms is vertical.
Players in “flat farming,” as Storey calls it, are using drones and robots to improve crop maintenance, while artificial intelligence is also on the rise, with more than 1,600 startups and total investment reaching tens of billions of dollars. Plenty is one of those startups. While flat farms use a lot of water and large areas of land to produce a certain amount of production, a vertical farm of Plenty can produce the same amount of fruits and vegetables using 95% less water and 99% less space.
Plenty is a San Francisco-based AgTech startup, co-founded by Nate Storey, that is reinventing farms and agriculture. In an interview with journalist John Koetsier, Storey, who is also the company’s scientific director, says the future of farms is vertical and inward so food can grow anywhere in the world, all the way through the world. ‘year. Plenty’s vision for the future of farms also uses robotics and AI to continually improve the quality of growing fruits, vegetables and other herbs.
According to Storey, Americans eat only half the fresh fruits and vegetables they should eat, and globally it’s even worse – 30% on average. In rich countries, the lack of a healthy diet translates into increased rates of obesity, diabetes and other health problems; in poor countries there may not be enough food of any kind for everyone.
In addition, some countries with limited cultivable land or poor growing conditions, such as deserts, face existential risks when they cannot control their own food supply.
Plenty’s climate-controlled indoor farm features rows of vertically growing plants suspended from the ceiling. LED lights that mimic the sun shine on them, robots move them and artificial intelligence (AI) manages all variables of water, temperature and light, and constantly learns and optimizes how to grow crops. bigger, faster and better. These futuristic characteristics ensure that each plant grows perfectly throughout the year, according to Storey. The conditions are so good that the farm produces 400 times more food per hectare than a flat outdoor farm.
“A 400 times higher yield per acre of land is not just a gradual improvement, and using almost two orders of magnitude less water is also essential in a time of increasing environmental stress and climate uncertainty. All of this is a real game-changer, but it’s not the only goal ”.