Beer. Some people like it some don’t but I for one do enjoy a cold brew. New research is allowing hops (the main ingredient in beer) to be grown indoors by way of hydroponics. As the demand from the beer industry for a reliable source of fresh hops increases, efforts are being made to produce hydro hops. These hops are said to be as good and more reliable than field grown hops.
The folks at Beer Advocate note that while hydroponic growing techniques have been around since the early 17th century, growing hops in a mineral-rich nutrient solution is a recent endeavor. It will prove to be one that will impact the beer industry, especially the craft beer brewers. “Getting hops fresh and frequent from the field has been problematic” they said. Hydro Hop Farms in Colorado has designed and developed a research model of perpetual production that can grow three to five crop cycles per year. Their intent is to provide beer brewers with a quality of hop higher than that of traditional growing methods. Click on the link or paste into your browser for a time-lapsed video of hydroponic hops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMmXDRZfb9o
Excerpts from Hydro magazine 2016.
Bats Worth More Than $1B to Corn Industry
Research published in the National Academy of Sciences confirms that bats play a significant role in combating corn crop pests, saving more than $1 billion a year in crop damages around the world. Bats love to eat insects and the most damaging insect to the corn industry is the corn earworm* which feeds on not only corn but tomatoes, cotton and many other crops. http://www.batcon.org/resources/media-education/news-room/the-echo/1109-bats-in-agriculture
Drones The Future of U.S. Farming
Drones are considered robots and they are beginning to transform farming in the US. From autonomous mowing to so-called precision agriculture, a data-based approach to planting and harvesting crops. The agricultural robot market is expected to grow to $16B by 2020 up from 817M in 2013. The report anticipates that drones will see even more ‘liftoff’ in the agricultural industry. Eighty percent of the commercial market for drones will eventually be dedicated to agriculture. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_drones
Hydroponics Facility Now in North Carolina
A new facility that will deliver fresh produce to the Kimberley Park community was approved in 2016. The city is leasing three acres for 25 years to the Goler community development corporation, with up to three 25-year extensions for it’s hydroponic and aquaponic facility. Helping Our People Eat (HOPE), which prepares and delivers fresh meals to food insecure communities, will be subleasing part of the land for a new facility it will construct there. https://www.ncfieldfamily.org/farm/crops-forestry/hydroponic-farms-grow-fresh-produce-year-round/
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