Article by The Kindland
The future of food farming could take a few pointers from pot. At least according to Rick Byrd, CEO of organic cultivation equipment wholesaler, Pure Agrobusiness Inc. The agriculture innovator, whose company’s products are used by cannabis farmers to grow weed, sees the increased frequency of harvests made possible by the high-tech indoor cultivation technology as a way to drive down the cost of food, become more sustainable, feed a growing population, and rely less on processed food products.
From Bloomberg News:
“The same technology that currently enables vertical indoor farms to raise primo weed can one day produce perfect tomatoes or succulent lettuce, Byrd said. Paper or mesh holds up the plants, substituting for soil. Powerful lights do the work now done by the sun, but better.
“Data calibrate the exact light spectrum and nutrients for the plants to thrive, and machines drip just enough water. Harvests are frequent — four or five a year, compared with one outdoor. . . Vertical instead of horizontal could cut agriculture’s reliance on fossil fuels and diminish risks from pests, pesticides and an increasingly haywire environment, Byrd said.”
As easing cannabis legislation moves the herb from prohibition to driving profitable industries and regulated markets state-by-state, weed’s legalization also spurs innovation in sectors ranging from digital payment solutions to health and wellness. And when it comes to farming, “Who do you think is going to implement technology? Obviously the cannabis guys,” Byrd told Bloomberg.
Both weed’s illicit status and popularity of hydroponic technology among growers has placed marijauna farmers at the forefront of indoor hydroponic cultivation for years.
So much so, that because its off-center involvement weed, the legal pot upturn grew the stock price for fertilizer maker, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., by nearly 25 percent in 2016.