Largest LED Vegetable Growing Factory in the World Opened in Japan in 2014

After the Great Earthquake that Japan experienced in 2011, it has repurposed a Sony Corporation semiconductor factory located in the northeast region’s Miyagi Prefecture and turned it into the world’s largest indoor farm illuminated by LEDs. General Electric reports that they developed the LED fixtures which emit light at wavelengths optimal for plant growth used in the indoor farm.

Another company involved in the project, Mirai Co., based in Tokyo, runs vegetable growing factories. This new growing indoor plant operation is on about 2,300 square meters of land and is able to produce 10,000 heads of lettuce plus other vegetables per day. The produce will be sold to local supermarkets.

The hope is to build more factories similar to this one in other parts of Japan. The LED lights reduce electricity consumption by 40 percent as compared to fluorescent lighting and can use spectrum specific light for optimal growing of the vegetables.

The combined venture further intends to export produce to other nations as well as export the entire growing factory set ups and technology. They have already received requests to do so.


For further information see: http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/apac/news-and-media/press-room/press-releases/2014/Japan%20Case.jsp

Sustainable Microfarms: A Hydroponic System Start Up

Sometimes on the otherwise rather impersonal internet an enthusiasm comes through loud and clear and one came at me recently from a fella named Sanjay Kumar Rajpoot, who tells me he is founder and CEO of Sustainable Microfarms, the “designers of the Genesis Controller, the world’s only affordable automated hydroponics system.” Rajpoot has a background in physics, chemical and nanotechnology engineering, mechanical design, economics, marketing, and finance.

Because of his enthusiasm and extraordinary efforts behind the scenes, I agreed to publish his promotional piece here on this site.

Also, the video at the end is quite interesting about “the future” of agriculture, citing some great examples of big company buyouts of late.

Thanks for your contribution to this site, Sanjay, and good luck to you and your new endeavor!
—Kay M.


Digitally Automated Hydroponic Gardens:  Now Affordable and Practical for Everyone

There’s a whole new standard of technology in gardening and urban farming!

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in nutrient rich and pH-balanced water without the use of any soil.  This is possible because plants are able to thrive as long as their roots are in contact with water.  Additionally, plants grow better with hydroponics because roots are able to grow faster when there is no friction from soil.

Why Hydroponics?

The answer is simple!  hydroponics beats traditional growing methods in virtually every metric.  Specifically, hydroponics produces superior quality plants, in greater quantity, using less space, in less time, without pesticides, and weeds.

Hydroponics also saves natural resources.  It uses 90% less water and 70% less fertilizer.

Fresh-picked fruits and vegetables always taste better and retain more nutritional value than produce purchased from supermarkets and even farmers markets!  The only way to enjoy the highest quality produce is to grow it in your own backyard, but most people don’t have the time or energy to do so.  Automated hydroponics enables these people to start the gardens they always fantasized about.

SAVINGS:  HYDROPONICS VS SOIL

 

WHY ISN’T EVERYONE ALREADY USING HYDROPONICS?

Hydroponics accounts for less than one percent of the agricultural market because it has traditionally been too complex and difficult to master.  That is, until now.

A new website that is partnered with industry leader “General Hydroponics” has recently launched and is accepting pre-orders for what is called “digitally automated personal farms” aimed at making hydroponics accessible and practical for everyone who loves fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

Personal Farms comes standard with a General Hydroponics AeroFlo 18 growing system and nutrients.  This system has been popular for decades in hobbyist tomato gardens, small commercial food production, and closet-grows.

The automation component of the garden is provided by Sustainable Microfarms.  It measures temperature, electrical conductivity and pH, all necessary variables that a person would otherwise have to spend hours per week maintaining.  The automation unit is built using medical grade dosing pumps for highly accurate liquid dispensing.  There is even a backlit LCD screen with an intuitive menu system making the system easier to use than most household appliances.

Introducing this automation unit dramatically cuts down the required time and education necessary for consumers to use hydroponics.

Personal Farming Systems cost $1,000 on AutomateHydroponics.com and are a fun way to start saving time, money and the environment by growing produce at home.

WHAT YOU CAN GROW

Leafy        Salads Herbs   Fruit Berries Cut Flowers
Lettuce Basil Tomato Strawberries Roses
Spinach Parsley Cucumber Raspberries Gerbera
Cabbage Fennel Peppers Grapes Carnation
Chard Mint Zucchini Blueberries Tulips
Celery Coriander Watermelon Blackberries Roses
Kale Rosemary Green Bean   Orchids
Broccoli Pharmaceuticals Egg Plant   Amaryllis

At first glance $1,000 may seem like a lot of money when you can simply run to the store to buy groceries, but consider this: when growing fruits and vegetables, an automated hydroponic garden saves users money in the long run, similar to electric cars and solar panels.  Users actually end up saving so much on grocery bills in one year that the product effectively pays for itself in savings.

Lets do the math!  Lets say the average family spends approximately $40 per week on fresh produce.  That comes out to $200 per month, or $2,400 per year!  An automated hydroponic garden represents a $1,400 savings.

Poultry Industry Struggles Since RFS Mandates Went Into Effect

This post (below) is from the USDA. I like this quote from the last sentence of the summary

“The cessation of broiler industry growth, due to slowing growth in population, per capita consumption of chicken, and exports, places new financial pressures on broiler producers and new stresses on industry organization.”

Though the USDA will not tell you that escalating feed prices resulted from using 40 percent of the corn crop for ethanol production, which is the main cause of the decline in poultry meat production here in the U.S., I think that almost any poultry producer will explain that to you rather quickly. (!)

From the USDA…

U.S. broiler production has leveled off after decades of rapid growth

Between 1960 and 1995, annual broiler slaughter in the United States grew from 1.5 to 7.4 billion birds—4.6 percent per year, on average. With birds also getting larger—from an average of 3.35 pounds to 4.66—total live-weight production grew at an average rate of 5.6 percent per year.

While average weights continued to grow steadily after 1995, growth in annual slaughter slowed sharply and then fell in 2009 and again in 2012. Total live-weight production reached 49.8 billion pounds in 2008, but did not exceed that figure until 2013. In all, live-weight production grew by just 1.3 percent per year between 2003 and 2013, one-fourth of the 1960-1995 growth rate.

High produc­tion growth in earlier decades—and slowing growth later—reflected movements in demand for chicken meat. The cessation of broiler industry growth, due to slowing growth in population, per capita consumption of chicken, and exports, places new financial pressures on broiler producers and new stresses on industry organization.

source: usda

Agriculture Subsidy Chart Comparison

This is an interesting chart I found that was embedded in a WSJ article related to how the world trade agreement discussions are treating India. Trade in agricultural agreements – needless to say – is complex.

See how EU Ag subsidies have been falling over the years… although I do not know how much additional crop subsidization is provided by its member states these days.

Source: How Can India Be Breaking WTO Rules When Rich Countries Spend So Much More on Their Farmers?