Traditional agriculture is a resource-intensive and labor-intensive industry.
However, the rapid development of biotechnology, information technology, and logistics is freeing agriculture from the constraints of resources such as water, and soil and labor.
So, What Does the Future of Agriculture Look Like?
A middle school boy once replied: I wish I could reach out and pick a fresh tomato from the hydroponic apartment garden with hanging LED grow lights, and put it in my mouth while sitting in my study reading a book.
I can water my plants, fertilize my crops, and add the feed to my cattle and livestock by clicking on my computer or cell phone screen at home.
And I will make a few phone calls and distribute the grain and fruit harvested from the farm to supermarkets everywhere.
Last but not least, I hope to grow food that makes people eat without gaining weight so that my mother can eat both healthy and slim.
If analyzed with a professional eye, his passage contains three breakthrough points for the future of agriculture: plant factories, smart agriculture, and functional food.
Continued population growth, depletion of land resources, and frequent extreme weather events have brought traditional agriculture to a bottleneck.
Scientists have come up with the concept of vertical agriculture, which means using advanced farming techniques to extend agriculture upward rather than outward.
Hydroponic system vertical farm utilizes this principle, which means that plants can be grown indoors under the right conditions, given enough light and the necessary nutrients.
Indoor farming systems for plant product production are the plant factory. It is an efficient and stable production system for plants with full intelligent control of light, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and nutrients and other growth environment conditions.
It has been found that light quality affects plant photosynthesis and light signal regulation and plays an important role in plant growth, phenotype and resistance. Different plants have preferences for different spectra of light quality.
Hydroponics lighting is a small sun for an indoor growing environment. By using different indoor vertical garden lighting sources, precise control and matching of the light waves and spectrum can be achieved.
- Optimizing the ratio of red light/far red light can improve the quantity and quality of pansy blooms.
- If you want your stonecrop to have increased anthocyanin content and red flowers, it is recommended to increase the light to 680nm
- If you want your lettuce to be green and fruitful, you need to use more blue and red light.
As long as precise manual control is achieved, the dream of growing everything in a plant factory can be realized.
The breakthrough of plant factory technology has made it possible to make tall building farms, desert farms, space farms, sea farms, polar farms, etc.
Of course, you can also set up a miniature hydroponic apartment garden with different functions and styles in your own kitchen, living room, and study to make life and work more interesting.
In recent years, information technology and artificial intelligence are not only two fashionable terms with high usage rates but also have become the core terms and directions of efforts in many industries.
Similarly, with the joint help of information technology and artificial intelligence, smart agriculture is getting closer and closer to us.
The application of drones, intelligent robots and big data technologies in agriculture will bring lettuce vertical farming into the era of digital, precise, networked and intelligent smart agriculture.
We can consider the data platform as the brain of smart agriculture, which acquires and analyzes data and makes decisions through data application services and integrated systems to guide agricultural production.
Compared with traditional agriculture, future agriculture supported by digital technology will be intensive, large-scale and environment-friendly high-efficiency agriculture, which is a radical change in production methods.
As a result, commercial indoor farming has become a booming sunrise industry, and the farms of the future will be pollution-free green ecological farms, and farmers will become the envy of all.
With the improvement of people’s living standards, people are no longer satisfied with having a full stomach but are more concerned with consuming green and healthy food.
The biotechnology development with the help of biotech consulting firms has promoted the combination of commercial vertical farming systems and product research in the health and even pharma industries. The production of special functional foods for special populations has been the direction of scientists’ efforts.
The focus of general functional foods is on nutrition and health. It promotes nutritional balance, increases dietary fiber, regulates the physiological state of the body, and improves immunity.
Therefore, scientists have focused on some special plant resources, such as the Chinese peony.
Peonies are considered China’s national flower because of their color and fragrance.
However, you may not know that the seeds of certain oil peony species contain a large amount of oil, of which the content of α-linolenic acid is particularly significant.
According to estimation, the seeds of oil peony yield about 200kg per mu, with an oil content of over 20%, of which the unsaturated fatty acid content is as high as 92%, especially the content of α-linolenic acid reaches 43%.
Therefore, peony oil is a kind of healthcare edible oil that can prevent cardiovascular diseases.