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National Geographic: Your Greens Might Soon Be Grown in Warehouses

Bowery Farms grows hydroponic crops out of a warehouse in Kearny, New Jersey, using LED lights. Co-founder Irving Fain says productivity far exceeds that of traditional farming. Photograph Courtesy Of Bowery.

Technology-driven businesses such as New Jersey-based Bowery are bypassing traditional farming with warehouses and LED fixtures.

By Christina Nunez
National Geographic
Aug 11, 2017

Excerpt:

It wasn’t until about six or seven years ago that everything changed. The cost of LED fixtures dropped by over 85 percent, and the efficiency more than doubled. The stacking [of crops] was enabled by the LEDs because they’re very thin and they can pull the heat away from the plants well. That means you can stack vertically and use the cubic space much more efficiently.

We also have a [proprietary software network] across our entire farm. We’re collecting millions of points of data in real time. We have cameras that are not only taking pictures of the plants, but they’re running those pictures through machine-learning algorithms and are actually able to understand, how is this plant growing, what’s the quality we’re seeing—and then in real time make tweaks to the conditions to change the way the crops are growing.

Read the complete article here.