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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Jeremy Ogul

Startup Profile: TerraSphere Systems: Sustainable Vertical Farming is a Reality

April 14, 2011 |

TerraSphere Systems Vertical FarmingThe idea for TerraSphere Systems’ vertical farming technology all started with a few marijuana plants.

In fact, Nick Brusatore, Co-Founder and Inventor of TerraSphere Systems, began developing his unique hydroponic technology system for medical marijuana cultivation in Canada (Canada began offering medical marijuana to eligible patients in 2003).

After working with their hydroponic technology for a while, Brusatore and his partner William Gildea began to think about population growth and quickly perceived the wider agricultural marketplace opportunities for their product to address future food shortages. Read More

Cellulosic Ethanol: A Larger Opportunity than Corn-Based Ethanol

April 7, 2011 |

It wasn’t too long ago that making car fuel out of corn seemed like a brilliant idea. It’s local and abundant — American farmers have planted more than 85 million acres of corn a year since 2007. And unlike petroleum, it’s renewable: use corn, plant more. No drilling required.

Turns out, though, that using corn to make ethanol, the fuel source that is blended into gasoline, has some serious unintended consequences. At the end of 2005, the front-month contract for a bushel (56 pounds) of corn was about $1.86. When the U.S. government started pushing corn-based ethanol production in 2006 and 2007, demand for corn increased, pushing prices to over $4 in early 2007. Today, the price is $7.62 a bushel. Read More