The Environmental Defense Fund is advocating for the Growing Climate Solutions Act which has been introduced in the Senate. While this bill is limited in only offering one type of credit for sustainability, it is seen as a step forward for allowing farmers to do the ethically correct thing while not having to take a huge cut to their bottom line. We have to support these programs to offset climate change as a country or the earth will become unlivable.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Environmental Defense Fund supports the Growing Climate Solutions Act, saying that it gives farmers more tools with which to develop and sell solutions to climate-related challenges.
  • Growing Climate Solutions Act focuses heavily on the purchasing of conservation credits, which counter environmental impact of one type with offsets in a different area.
  • Many questions remain regarding how to fairly and effectively develop offsets for various types of environmental impacts.

“The Growing Climate Solutions Act would direct the USDA to create a certification program for farmers to develop, verify and sell environmental credits.”

Read more: https://www.rfdtv.com/story/42247945/finding-sustainable-climate-solutions-in-agriculture

Before Coronavirus, robots that made food were kind of a meme. Now, restaurants are looking at automation as a way to stay in business without having to worry about the consequences. There are robots now making anything from salads to smoothies. The future is coming to us out of necessity due to hardship. It’s an unfortunate way to see innovation happen, but at least it’s happening. Customers are embracing these trends and we think we’ll see a lot of it post Covid-19.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blendid has introduced a new robot called Chef B that can mix up more than 30 smoothies per hour.
  • Creator churns out burgers using a highly-sophisticated robot with hundreds of sensors, and then delivers them through a miniature airlock.
  • Willo is pioneering new indoor agriculture technologies in their vertical farm facility.

“But in a new dining landscape shaped by social distancing and increased sanitation practices, Sally is a necessity.”

Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/restaurants/article/Salad-robots-smoothie-robots-and-vertical-farms-15342273.php

Local and sustainably grown foods are becoming more popular among general public. As food grown in this way becomes more competitive in pricing, the popularity can only increase. For farmers using hydroponics, this means that analysis of their farm economics and business strategy needs to be evaluated often. Profit margins for hydroponic greenhouse farms are generally expected to be at a minimum of 50%, but with organic methods this margin can increase to 60%. Further analyzes can uncover additional changes that can be implemented to increase the profit even further.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a huge market for locally-grown food, so farmers need to make sure their prices are competitive.
  • Choosing how to grow is difficult, with many options ranging from traditional to high-tech.
  • One of the best cost-effective methods of growing is a greenhouse, especially combined with organic methods.

“A typical greenhouse farm can expect gross profit margins that range from 50% – 65% for lettuce and tomatoes.”

Read more: https://www.hortidaily.com/article/9225135/farm-economics-soilless-hydroponic-farm-costs/

H2O Hydroponics in Lansing has officially been acquired by GrowGeneration. H2O Hydroponics did $4 million in sales last year. They are estimating that Marijuana sales will be around $3 billion globally once it is available all over. They bring in a lot of tax for the country being around $495.7 million. It’s a booming business that has many positive effects for the country. Hopefully our lawmakers will start to see this in the near future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Denver-based GrowGeneration has purchased the assets of Lansing’s H2O Hydroponics LLC.
  • One report estimated the total economic impact of cannabis sales will approach $8 billion.
  • The law permits individuals to grow up to 12 plants and/or possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis.

“The recreation marijuana market in Michigan is expected to be a boom for the suppliers like GrowGeneration.”

Read more: https://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/h2o-hydroponics-in-lansing-acquired-by-growgeneration-new-organic-garden-operations-coming-to-state-capital/

Hydroponics are becoming increasingly popular way of raising plants, but some people have taken this method a step further thanks to their creativity. Growing edible plants is a novel idea and for some people it means tapping a new market. Nadine Stielow used to grow ornamental plants and she describes how hydroponic growing was a method for her to expand the business in a more sustainable way. Once she started thinking about growing edible plants, the idea really took off and attracted new customers. Her plants can be used as food or decoration, but she also uses her products to raise awareness about sustainable hydroponic practices.

Key Takeaways:

  • One farmer has found a great demand for edible plants that are ornamental and grown using hydroponics.
  • She started growing with hydroponics to improve the sustainability of her farm.
  • The experiment happened during the pandemic, and was met with a lot of interest from customers.

“Two years ago, after growing seasonal ornamentals for 7 years, Stielow decided to expand her business by starting to grow greens and herbs hydroponically.”

Read more: https://www.hortidaily.com/article/9226297/hydroponically-grown-edible-ornamentals-an-untapped-market/

Many look forward to the flower baskets in downtown Kenosha but with Covid-19 happening that has been affected as well. The $30,000 budgeted for the flower program went to fund the Small Business Recovery fund. Many area businesses did not want to scrap the Flower project completely so a compromise was reached with Maria Caravati, the owner of Equinox. Maria worked with Alexandria Binanti Robinson, the executive director of Downtown Kenosha Inc. to create the flowers still in a smaller scale. They still purchased the flowers through the same supplier Burr Oaks in Somers, but volunteers came together and planted the flowers into planters. They also gave plants to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Volunteers have stepped in to water the plants, and local businesses that are displaying the planters are also taking care of them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Because of budget issues this year, Kenosha will not have its usual floral baskets downtown.
  • Due to the coronavirus, money was reallocated from the flowers to help small businesses.
  • However, some money was kept for a smaller version of the traditional flowers.

“For several years, downtown Kenosha has jumped into the busy summer season adorned with huge, bright, colorful hanging baskets.”

Read more: https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/snyder-downtown-blooming-again-this-summer/article_a6ab72b0-8f04-5431-86b4-e7eea9c68d64.html

Although the agriculture industry has stood the test of time, there are always growing trends to make it more efficient and cost-effective. Recently, experts have been focusing on soil health and conservation, which may help combat climate change. With this soil push, farmers are looking into the idea of regenerative agriculture. Also, with limited farm space and growing population, indoor farming is on the rise. On top of that, the hemp industry is expected to grow over $20-billion in the next five years. Finally, farmers are looking at new ways to conserve water.

Key Takeaways:

  • The need to improve soil health has drawn more attention to regenerative agriculture.
  • Only recently legalized, hemp growing is expected to increase to $26.6B by 2025.
  • More farmers are making use of cover crops as a way to control weeds, improve soil compaction, and reduce soil erosion.

“Columbia University’s Earth Institute claims that approximately 25% of the world’s fossil fuel emissions can be removed each year by soil.”

Read more: https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/latest-agriculture-trends-in-the-usa-in-2020/54543

The Center for Food Safety has filed a lawsuit in a bid to stop the The Department of Agriculture from certifying hydroponically grown food as organic. Since this goes against the technically definition, they are unhappy that this word is allowed in selling product that does not use soil in any way. The United States is the only country that allows this specification. Because hydroponics rely heavily on fertilizers, they believe this goes against everything that soil fertility stands for.

Key Takeaways:

  • People are challenging the decision that hydroponically-grown food can be called organic.
  • The suit hinges on the soil, because hydroponic food is grown without soil.
  • As organic farmers focus on soil health, they don’t like that hydroponic food can also be organic.

“Synthetic salts are the most common nutrients used in hydroponics, and most of them are not allowed in products certified organic.”

Read more: https://earthmaven.io/planetwatch/land-agriculture/coalition-files-lawsuit-to-prevent-soil-less-agriculture-from-receiving-organic-certification-PCJkgnEun0mrcdB8mJjECA

The indoor agriculture marketplace is seeing accelerated changes during times of Covid-19 and concern for climate change. The need for food security is causing a lot of places to start vertical and hydroponic growing systems indoors. These systems are allowing farms to produce A-grade food without needing soil and as much water resources. The food also gets to be distributed locally. Many hobbyists are also getting into these trends. The need for change is sparking a lot of innovation.

Key Takeaways:

  • A new webinar series will focus on the big trends happening with indoor farming.
  • The webinar series takes the place of a convention that was cancelled because of the pandemic.
  • Trends include things demanded by customers like plant protein, the use of robotics, and more.

“From COVID-19 to climate change to food security concerns, there are a number of factors accelerating megatrends shaping the indoor agriculture marketplace”

Read more: https://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/what-are-the-megatrends-shaping-indoor-farming/

Greenhouses could help expand the growth of strawberries. There are already some varieties of strawberries that help the strawberry season last until October, and there are some varieties that only last until June. With the help of the greenhouse, production of strawberries could grow exponentially and help out with the supply of them for a lot longer than just a few months.The indoor strawberry may even perform better when it comes to the growth and quality of the fruit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ontario farmers may be growing more strawberries to serve an existing need.
  • Growing strawberries in greenhouses can make the berries available year-round.
  • Read on for more plans and some challenges that the strawberry growers face.

“Traditional perennial varieties are called June strawberries, named after the month they start to have harvestable fruit.”

Read more: https://www.greenhousecanada.com/greenhouse-and-field-strawberry-production-could-supply-50-per-cent-of-ontarios-needs/