DailyDirt: Feeding A Growing Population...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Modern farming is evolving yet again as technology makes growing crops more efficient with increasingly clever tricks. Maybe it's not such a good idea to mess with plant DNA to insert interspecies genes, but maybe there's no reason for increasing crop yields or produce quality, anyway. Biologists are messing around with gene expression pathways instead, so they don't need to change the DNA present -- just when or how the genes are (or aren't) activated. And better fertilizers could be on the way, too. Check out a few of these farming developments. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Reader Comments

The First Word

All of these technologies

focus on increasing yields from low intensity monocrop agriculture, which is already rife with regulatory capture. Monsonto BTW, isn't even going to be a U.S. Corporation for very long by the look of it. They are being courted by a few German firms.

Increasing yield density per acre is easy and has been for a few hundred years: use higher intensity farming methods. If you include environmental accounting, most of the cost differential right now is in automation. And that is the domain of robotics and systems engineers, like these guys. This is the kind of technology that kills glyphosate and the mould board plow.

Of course the hussle right now is to extend shitty farming models to keep the guys currently in charge, in charge. And the fed can be relied on to pay agro corps a "research bonus" which will be turned into bribes for state level officials, increasing regulatory capture and extending the service lives of deprecated systems.

This is pretty much what happened in CA. The DOE paid GM. GM bribed CARB with the DOE's money, and the CARB electric car initiative was killed with a misdirection campaign (AKA "hydrogen fuel"), and all funded by your federal taxes. SSDI. (Same Shit, Different Industry)

Moving towards automated high intensity agricultural systems will diffuse food production across more business's and more states. This is really good for GDP, job creation, and water quality management issues like easing pressure on the ogallala aquifer. But it is really bad for big agro, as it will reduce their monopoly control of the respective markets.

Sorry to be such a drag. Really. I'm a little nerdy about ag-tech. I hope you take some interest in the link, and some of the related stuff. Most of the really cool work in this sector is being done in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

Fucking socialists ;-)
—Anonymous Coward

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2016 @ 5:45pm

    Ummm - perhaps we should be thinking about population control rather than about how to feed an over populated planet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2016 @ 6:10pm

      Re:

      Don't worry, Monsanto's working on Roundup Ultimate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 20 May 2016 @ 9:25pm

      Re: perhaps we should be thinking about population control

      People go on about how we’re “running out of resources”. There’s only one resource I’m worried about running out of—the most important one we’ve got. What is it?

      People. As long as we have people with brains, willing to think about problems and work on solutions, we have a future. “Population control” is a recipe for extinction.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        fuckyou, 20 May 2016 @ 10:13pm

        Re: Re: perhaps we should be thinking about population control

        you massively overestimate human intelligence...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2016 @ 6:32am

        Re: Re: perhaps we should be thinking about population control

        Consider how scientists contain bacterial growth in a petri dish. The bacteria grows until it chokes on its own excrement and dies, apparently it is not intelligent enough to comprehend much less do anything about its impending doom.

        Humans think they are so smart ... and yet they shit where they sleep.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 21 May 2016 @ 4:21pm

          Re: The bacteria grows until it chokes on its own excrement and dies

          Only because it’s not smart enough to figure out how to escape from the Petri dish.

          See what I’m getting at?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2016 @ 5:29pm

            Re: Re: The bacteria grows until it chokes on its own excrement and dies

            .. and humans think they are, yet do nothing about it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2016 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: perhaps we should be thinking about population control

        As long as we have people with brains, willing to think about problems and work on solutions...
        That's the sticky bit for me. We've created an environment where social evolution selects for sociopathy and and half-wittedness. If we don't do something to avoid building a world filled with sadistic ranchers and their passive herds of 'people', the few survivors with brains are going to be too busy running away from bands of witch-hunters to get any problem-solving done.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Charles (profile), 20 May 2016 @ 8:25pm

    FrakenFood

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2016 @ 8:38pm

    All of these technologies

    focus on increasing yields from low intensity monocrop agriculture, which is already rife with regulatory capture. Monsonto BTW, isn't even going to be a U.S. Corporation for very long by the look of it. They are being courted by a few German firms.

    Increasing yield density per acre is easy and has been for a few hundred years: use higher intensity farming methods. If you include environmental accounting, most of the cost differential right now is in automation. And that is the domain of robotics and systems engineers, like these guys. This is the kind of technology that kills glyphosate and the mould board plow.

    Of course the hussle right now is to extend shitty farming models to keep the guys currently in charge, in charge. And the fed can be relied on to pay agro corps a "research bonus" which will be turned into bribes for state level officials, increasing regulatory capture and extending the service lives of deprecated systems.

    This is pretty much what happened in CA. The DOE paid GM. GM bribed CARB with the DOE's money, and the CARB electric car initiative was killed with a misdirection campaign (AKA "hydrogen fuel"), and all funded by your federal taxes. SSDI. (Same Shit, Different Industry)

    Moving towards automated high intensity agricultural systems will diffuse food production across more business's and more states. This is really good for GDP, job creation, and water quality management issues like easing pressure on the ogallala aquifer. But it is really bad for big agro, as it will reduce their monopoly control of the respective markets.

    Sorry to be such a drag. Really. I'm a little nerdy about ag-tech. I hope you take some interest in the link, and some of the related stuff. Most of the really cool work in this sector is being done in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

    Fucking socialists ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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