Here’s five stories you should read today, February 18.
Silicon Valley, the heart of the world’s technology industry, is the last place anybody would expect a food revolution. But, according to Fast Company, the tech sector’s investment in agriculture is growing. Venture capitalists and angel investors put $103 million into agriculture between April 2012 and March 2013 in hopes to improve the world’s food system.
The world seems enamoured with goats right now. To add fuel to the goat-frenzy fire, no pun intended, why not employ goats as firefighters? The City of Victoria, Texas, has done just that. The city is renting goats at $1,200 a week to clear highly flammable brush from the city’s landscape.
A small and experimental project in Australia is turning sunlight and seawater into freshwater and food inside greenhouses. Phiipp Saumweber came up with the idea after thinking about how vulnerable oil and water are — two natural resources important to agriculture. He then started Sundrop Farms. The idea is to desalinate seawater to supply freshwater to a greenhouse.
Ohio is in the midst of a experimenting with hop production for the state’s breweries. Colorado is in the midst of it’s own hop production story. One company, AC Golden Brewing Co., is trying to spur growth in the state’s hop industry by helping fans of it flagship brew to grow their own hops for the beer.
Monsanto’s purchases of Precision Planting in 2012, and The Climate Corporation in 2013 has opened the door for the company to offer something it calls an Integrated Farming Systems platform. Farmers who use the platform can submit data about their fields and in return get real time cross-referenced data about their fields.