“There are no favourable loans to undertake agriculture. What are available are commercial loans disguised as agricultural loans. They don’t put into consideration the risks involved in farming – climate change, seasons, possibility of bad harvest, …read more…
Calls to most county extension offices have been reporting about tiny whitish flies that have invaded tomatoes in greenhouses.
Although I have not done a site visit to verify, the farmers I have spoken to have described the insects as tiny white moths with powdery wings and triangular in shape …read more…
“What we do differently is we have phosphors specifically tuned to photosynthesis, whereas everyone else tunes them to humans so that lights seem brighter.”…- original author
Transcend Lighting, one of the more unconventional startups accepted into Y Combinator’s latest cohort, is launching out of beta today to bring its energy-saving LED lights to indoor farmers everywhere.
Founder Brian Bennett, an optical engineer by training, invented the first Transcend prototype after his father challenged him to build some LED lights for the family farm in upstate New York.
When the lights he designed were successful, Bennett entered a business plan competition at Columbia, won some money to continue developing the idea, and was accepted into Y Combinator’s Spring 2015 class.
“Farms today, generally speaking, use high pressure sodium lights, which are the same lights as street lamps,” says Bennett. “That works, and plants grow reasonably well under them, but it wastes a lot of energy.”
Trancend’s bulbs differ from typical LED lights because they only use blue light. The company has developed a wavelength conversion system that uses phosphorous to convert…
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An incredible write-up. I loved the illustrations too. Decided to finally settle down for this caption, which I quote: “…We could pray for rain, or to be delivered from our own folly. Or we could reconsider our priorities…” – original author. What a summing up! So, so, true!
Susie Cagle | Longreads | June 2015 | 21 minutes (5,160 words)
The sun was going down in East Porterville, California, diffusing gold through a thick and creamy fog, as Donna Johnson pulled into the parking lot in front of the Family Dollar.
Since the valley started running dry, this has become Johnson’s favorite store. The responsibilities were getting overwhelming for the 70-year-old: doctors visits and scans for a shoulder she injured while lifting too-heavy cases of water; a trip to the mechanic to fix the truck door busted by an overeager film crew; a stop at the bank to deposit another generous check that’s still not enough to cover the costs of everything she gives away; a million other small tasks and expenses. But at the Family Dollar she was singularly focused, in her element.
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“Modern agricultural equipment is incredibly technologically advanced, and designed to record everything from the way the seeds are planted to changes in soil chemistry…” – original author
In order to sustain a world population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, we’ll need to double global crop production over the next 35 years. For Farmers Business Network (FBN), the solution is a global, big data-powered farmer-to-farmer network — and they’ve just raised $15 million in new funding to build it.
Farmers spend billions of dollars per year on seeds and fertilizers, but currently, they’re lacking reliable information when it comes to deciding which seeds to buy, how many to plant, and which fertilizers or nutrients will produce the best outcome in different regions.
“Until now, farmers have had to rely on university trial data from highly controlled experiments, or on information from the seed companies about which seeds to use and what populations to plant,” says…
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