Author Topic: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture  (Read 1736 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online sandalcandal

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • Country: au
  • MOAR POWA!
Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« on: October 29, 2020, 07:26:15 pm »
Starting a new thread here to avoid completely derailing the last thread where conversation drifted over to land usage and farming, and to keep information more organised.

I cannot fathom how growing indoors is going to be more efficient, you need light, and where is the power for that light going to come from? Solar panels? Why not plant the crops outside and skip the losses?  It might work alright for leafy greens, but there isn't a snowflakes chance in hell you'll actually feed people that way
Same argument can be used for electric flight that's powered by dirty energy sourcesd
Energy use is sure to be less efficient per kg of produce than a green house on the same plot of land but the point of vertical farming is being able to grow with much greater efficiency of other resources e.g. space, water, fertilisers, transport.

Quote from: Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University
Comparing greenhouse cultivation and VF with lighting efficiency of 52% each running with coal power can be observed that VF produces 2.5 – 7 times higher GHG emissions depending on the location. When comparing the same systems running with hydropower, VF produces 15-27% of the GHG emissions produced by a greenhouse. However, if the energy source is assumed to be hydropower, for example, the GHG emissions for VFs 52 would be 15%- 30% of the GHG emissions emitted by the greenhouses depending on the location.


https://wdrg.aalto.fi/vertical-farming-the-myth-of-resource-efficiency/

Disclosure: Involved in electric vehicle and energy storage system technologies
 

Online tom66

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4355
  • Country: gb
  • Electron Fiddler, FPGA Hacker, Embedded Systems EE
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 08:20:08 pm »
The real benefit to vertical farming is surely that we can use large areas currently allocated to crops for more useful things - such as solar panels, wind turbines, carbon-capture equipment, forests, or housing.

Of course we will need to address the meat question.  I seriously hope the 'fake meat' market continues to grow as aggressively, if not more so, than it has in the last decade.  I have tried a number of those products so far and generally been quite impressed.  Beef is horribly inefficient as a food source, and chicken is, while a bit better than beef, not much better.  With continued advances here we might find that the need for arable land to raise animals and their feed reduces considerably and we can begin to use that land for more useful or urgent things, such as stopping the planet boiling to death.
 
The following users thanked this post: sandalcandal

Offline Rx7man

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Country: ca
  • Hobbyist/Hack/Farmer
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 08:57:23 pm »
The real benefit to vertical farming is surely that we can use large areas currently allocated to crops for more useful things - such as solar panels, wind turbines, carbon-capture equipment, forests, or housing.

Of course we will need to address the meat question.  I seriously hope the 'fake meat' market continues to grow as aggressively, if not more so, than it has in the last decade.  I have tried a number of those products so far and generally been quite impressed.  Beef is horribly inefficient as a food source, and chicken is, while a bit better than beef, not much better.  With continued advances here we might find that the need for arable land to raise animals and their feed reduces considerably and we can begin to use that land for more useful or urgent things, such as stopping the planet boiling to death.
Industrially farmed beef sure, but regeneratively farmed beef is a net carbon sequesterer, Grasslands are incredible carbon sinks, and benefit from grazing.  Industrial farming of ANY type is environmentally horrid and monocrops deplete soil carbon
[attach=1]
[attach=2]
 

Offline ahbushnell

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 627
  • Country: us
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 10:48:44 pm »
The real benefit to vertical farming is surely that we can use large areas currently allocated to crops for more useful things - such as solar panels, wind turbines, carbon-capture equipment, forests, or housing.

Of course we will need to address the meat question.  I seriously hope the 'fake meat' market continues to grow as aggressively, if not more so, than it has in the last decade.  I have tried a number of those products so far and generally been quite impressed.  Beef is horribly inefficient as a food source, and chicken is, while a bit better than beef, not much better.  With continued advances here we might find that the need for arable land to raise animals and their feed reduces considerably and we can begin to use that land for more useful or urgent things, such as stopping the planet boiling to death.
Industrially farmed beef sure, but regeneratively farmed beef is a net carbon sequesterer, Grasslands are incredible carbon sinks, and benefit from grazing.  Industrial farming of ANY type is environmentally horrid and monocrops deplete soil carbon
[attach=1]
[attach=2]
I think the problem with cows is methane which is worse then CO2. 
 

Offline Rx7man

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Country: ca
  • Hobbyist/Hack/Farmer
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 01:38:49 am »
The real benefit to vertical farming is surely that we can use large areas currently allocated to crops for more useful things - such as solar panels, wind turbines, carbon-capture equipment, forests, or housing.

Of course we will need to address the meat question.  I seriously hope the 'fake meat' market continues to grow as aggressively, if not more so, than it has in the last decade.  I have tried a number of those products so far and generally been quite impressed.  Beef is horribly inefficient as a food source, and chicken is, while a bit better than beef, not much better.  With continued advances here we might find that the need for arable land to raise animals and their feed reduces considerably and we can begin to use that land for more useful or urgent things, such as stopping the planet boiling to death.
Industrially farmed beef sure, but regeneratively farmed beef is a net carbon sequesterer, Grasslands are incredible carbon sinks, and benefit from grazing.  Industrial farming of ANY type is environmentally horrid and monocrops deplete soil carbon
[attach=1]
[attach=2]
I think the problem with cows is methane which is worse then CO2.
Cows don't emit more methane than the grass rotting on its own would though!
 

Offline ahbushnell

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 627
  • Country: us
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2020, 01:54:18 am »
The real benefit to vertical farming is surely that we can use large areas currently allocated to crops for more useful things - such as solar panels, wind turbines, carbon-capture equipment, forests, or housing.

Of course we will need to address the meat question.  I seriously hope the 'fake meat' market continues to grow as aggressively, if not more so, than it has in the last decade.  I have tried a number of those products so far and generally been quite impressed.  Beef is horribly inefficient as a food source, and chicken is, while a bit better than beef, not much better.  With continued advances here we might find that the need for arable land to raise animals and their feed reduces considerably and we can begin to use that land for more useful or urgent things, such as stopping the planet boiling to death.
Industrially farmed beef sure, but regeneratively farmed beef is a net carbon sequesterer, Grasslands are incredible carbon sinks, and benefit from grazing.  Industrial farming of ANY type is environmentally horrid and monocrops deplete soil carbon
[attach=1]
[attach=2]
I think the problem with cows is methane which is worse then CO2.
Cows don't emit more methane than the grass rotting on its own would though!
Not according to University of California at Davis
https://www.ucdavis.edu/food/news/making-cattle-more-sustainable/#:~:text=1%20agricultural%20source%20of%20greenhouse,the%20Department%20of%20Animal%20Science.

 

Offline themadhippy

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 645
  • Country: gb
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2020, 03:30:02 am »

Quote
Of course we will need to address the meat question.  I seriously hope the 'fake meat' market continues to grow as aggressively,
locust,crickets, grasshoppers.meal worms,all very nutritious and a popular snack food in some parts of the world.
 

Offline Rx7man

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Country: ca
  • Hobbyist/Hack/Farmer
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2020, 05:01:20 am »

Cows don't emit more methane than the grass rotting on its own would though!
Not according to University of California at Davis
https://www.ucdavis.edu/food/news/making-cattle-more-sustainable/#:~:text=1%20agricultural%20source%20of%20greenhouse,the%20Department%20of%20Animal%20Science.

Did you even read that article? Nowhere does it contradict what I said, however in several places it confirms what I said previously, such as properly managed, grazed grasslands can be great carbon sinks.. one of the links in that article says rangelands can sequester the carbon of 70 million cars a year
 

Offline ahbushnell

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 627
  • Country: us
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2020, 10:46:19 am »

Cows don't emit more methane than the grass rotting on its own would though!
Not according to University of California at Davis
https://www.ucdavis.edu/food/news/making-cattle-more-sustainable/#:~:text=1%20agricultural%20source%20of%20greenhouse,the%20Department%20of%20Animal%20Science.

Did you even read that article? Nowhere does it contradict what I said, however in several places it confirms what I said previously, such as properly managed, grazed grasslands can be great carbon sinks.. one of the links in that article says rangelands can sequester the carbon of 70 million cars a year

The question is did you read the article. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. 

"Cattle are the No. 1 agricultural source of greenhouse gases worldwide. Each year, a single cow will belch about 220 pounds of methane, which is shorter lived than carbon dioxide but 28 times more potent in warming the atmosphere, said Mitloehner, a professor and air quality specialist in the Department of Animal Science."
 

Online tom66

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4355
  • Country: gb
  • Electron Fiddler, FPGA Hacker, Embedded Systems EE
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2020, 10:54:59 am »
The other issue is trees are much better carbon sinks than grassland.   We should plant trees in areas where cattle used to graze.   In many cases that is what was present in the UK before the agricultural revolution.

The exception is in areas where forest fires are common.  Trees are worse then as when they burn most of that carbon is released.  Grasslands tend to sequester more carbon underground, and are less conducive to wildfires.  But, most of the world is not at risk of forest fires like  California, for instance.
 

Online tautech

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21418
  • Country: nz
  • Taupaki Technologies Ltd. NZ Siglent Distributor
    • Taupaki Technologies Ltd.
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2020, 08:05:24 am »
FYI there is current research being undertaken in NZ to select livestock genetics that emit lower CO2 and Methane and also along the same lines for modified grass feed cultivars since we have predominantly grass based animal production.

This is despite the fact that the Paris accord specifically states that no signatory shall implement legislation that impacts of their countries ability to produce food.

Livestock and red meats will be with us for many decades yet.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5132
  • Country: nl
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2020, 04:04:31 pm »
regeneratively farmed beef is a net carbon sequesterer
Mostly smoke and mirrors. Indirectly fossil fertilized (animals getting supplemental feed from normal farms) low intensity farmed fields build up organic matter ... no shit. But normal high intensity farmed pasture isn't exactly rising up, the soil is just a substrate for real farming.

The fastest way to sequester carbon with crops is just to bury them.
 

Offline Seekonk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1875
  • Country: us
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2020, 04:23:43 pm »
A friend of mine owns a construction company, sizeable buildings.  They have done many projects for inside farming and there is even more scheduled.  They seem to be making money.

https://agfundernews.com/80-acres-farms-raises-40m-to-complete-fully-automated-vertical-farm.html
 
The following users thanked this post: sandalcandal

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5132
  • Country: nl
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2020, 06:21:18 pm »
Even though it's vastly more expensive than growing on open soil, greenhouse farmers can find niches so a couple indoor farms can probably find them as well.

Will always cost multiples for staples and stuff which transports well though, but potentially being able to use zero pesticides has some marketing appeal.
 

Online tautech

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21418
  • Country: nz
  • Taupaki Technologies Ltd. NZ Siglent Distributor
    • Taupaki Technologies Ltd.
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2020, 07:09:54 pm »
Agricultural pests are real as are animal health issues and both need chemicals/pharmaceuticals to address in a cost efficient manner.

If the marketplace requires zero use of either then the cost of products will increase.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7174
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2020, 11:23:54 pm »
There are other solutions for pest control, for example traps and natural predators. As for animal health, don't pack them so tight in dirty conditions and there will be far fewer problems.

At the least, we should ban the widespread use of antibiotics since they are creating antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline IronGlan

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: us
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2021, 05:19:33 pm »
The grass must also be properly mowed, because as you said, it can start to rot, and this will have a bad effect on the ground
 

Offline BlacksAbs

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: au
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2021, 09:33:42 am »
I don't think that the fake meat market is a good idea for the future ...
It will be cheap, absolutely tasteless and will go out very quickly.
I am also engaged in agriculture and clearly understand how this business will develop in the near future. I recently bought myself a small compact tractor to work from https://www.heming-engineering.co.uk/tractors-and-machinery/siromer-small-tractors and in the course of buying, I talked to a stranger who said the same thing when it came to the relevance of such meat and such products in general in the future.
Of course, after a while, something similar will be created that will replace animal food, but this will clearly not be the next 200 years
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 12:35:27 pm by BlacksAbs »
 

Online sandalcandal

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • Country: au
  • MOAR POWA!
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2021, 01:24:47 pm »

Better than solar roadways?  :-//
Disclosure: Involved in electric vehicle and energy storage system technologies
 

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5132
  • Country: nl
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2021, 06:18:20 pm »
For countries with deserts I don't see how agrivoltaics could compete with growing under shading nets and putting the PV in the desert. The shading nets require far less support/steel and in the desert you don't need high supports at all. A HVDC link isn't that expensive either.

In fact I think metal supports have to go altogether, put them on a plastic bag and fill it with expanding foam.
 

Offline Siwastaja

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3839
  • Country: fi
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2021, 03:21:52 pm »
I cannot fathom how growing indoors is going to be more efficient, you need light, and where is the power for that light going to come from? Solar panels? Why not plant the crops outside and skip the losses?

This went unanswered. It's a good question. Unsurprisingly, the sunlight (approximate power 1kW/sqm) contains all wavelengths of visible spectrum plus infrared. But surprisingly, plants can only use a tiny part of the spectrum, I could throw in an example number of 10% (feel free to do a literature research on this; but it's on the right ballpark). OTOH, a solar panel is capable of utilizing the complete spectrum; the efficiency is calculated assuming this. LEDs are capable of producing just the narrow wavelength bands plants need (basically deep red and deep blue).

So even when you are losing a lot of energy in the light->electricity->light conversion, you are not only doing that conversion; you are also doing wavelength conversion; so you can increase the efficiency of the plants, by converting light plants can't use into electricity then back to light plants can use.

Do the numbers; if a plant uses 10% of the 1kW/sqm, you have 100W/sqm in direct sun. Now if you convert 1kW/sqm using a 22% efficient solar panel, then use 60% efficient LEDs, of which the plant is able to use 90% of their spectrum, you end up with 119W/sqm.

So while you could quickly assume producing energy with solar panels then burning that in LEDs would be extremely wasteful and lossy, this isn't actually the case, the numbers are very close. Through the (slow but real) advances in LEDs and solar panels, the gap will widen in favor of the indirect solution, despite how ineffective it sounds to laymen.

Even with similar efficiencies, there are additional benefits though. Electricity is a great and flexible energy transport medium (as used in large ships where diesel engines run generators, which supply power to electric motors, instead of massive drive shafts!). Similarly, you can place LED plant lights completely arbitrarily, for example, for vertical farming. It's way easier to provide optimal lighting than playing with large mirrors, light pipes, and so on.

Obvious advantage is that you'll be able to exactly control the energy used to grow the plants and you can sell any excess production to the grid for others to use. Decoupling the plant growth and sunshine is also great; electrical power is easily transferred thousands of kilometers with little loss.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 03:34:25 pm by Siwastaja »
 
The following users thanked this post: sandalcandal

Online sandalcandal

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • Country: au
  • MOAR POWA!
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2021, 10:11:21 pm »
Ad for new fungi based meat substitute
Disclosure: Involved in electric vehicle and energy storage system technologies
 

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5132
  • Country: nl
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2021, 10:37:06 pm »
Fungi based protein has allergy issues.

Meat substitutes just have too many problems altogether. The proteins tend to taste god awful without masking. The meat analogues tend to be heavily processed and full of preservatives, excepting the traditional soy stuff which has too many problems altogether (allergy, goitrogen, anti-nutrients). Simulating the texture of muscle is almost impossible, it's a complex composite of mostly collagen and various cells, whereas the meat analogues ignoring the shape/air are mostly homogenous.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21122
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2021, 10:43:25 pm »
Meat substitutes just have too many problems altogether.
Yup. And I don't get the obsession to make something that isn't meat look & taste like meat. Just buy food without meat if you don't want to eat meat (but make sure to get enough proteins and especially vitamin B12)
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
The following users thanked this post: Siwastaja

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5132
  • Country: nl
Re: Vertical Farming and Other High Tech Agriculture
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2021, 06:44:25 pm »
Protein is part of the raison d'etre of mock meat, getting something vegan and protein dense is kind of impossible without a protein concentrate/isolate. Also you lose a lot of chewiness in a meal without meat.

I'd say just buy textured pea protein or textured wheat protein though, dry ingredient so no preservatives and more flexible than mock meat. Used to be the only textured protein you could buy was soy, but that's changing.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf