As computing power increases and the amount of data supplied by remote field sensors and satellites around the world proliferates, agricultural modeling and IT tools that help growers make decisions will play an outsize role in both driving agricultural sustainability and feeding a population that will increase by 40% to 9 billion people by 2050. One company at the forefront of this movement that is developing informational technology to drive sustainability is ZedX, a Bellefonte, Pennsylvania-based company that provides IT solutions and develops integrated information technology for decision making for the agriculture sector.
We’re out in the field today interviewing sustainable producers, agvocates and ag startup CEOs, but in case you missed our story about sustainable mushroom growing in recyclable boxes filled with used coffee grounds or the other one about the open ocean sustainable fish farmer, we have provided links and summaries below to get you caught up.
In spring 2009 Nikhil Arora and Alex Velez were in their final semester at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business headed toward careers in consulting and banking when a remark made by a professor about the potential for growing mushrooms with used coffee grounds piqued their interest. With a desire to create a socially responsible and sustainable business that could make use of the millions of tons (~24 million tons per year) of used coffee grounds that go almost entirely to waste each year, the two classmates decided to further investigate the idea. What emerged from their research and consultations with mycology experts was Back to the Roots Ventures (BTTR), a startup company focused on sustainably farming gourmet mushrooms in used coffee grounds.
Eight miles off the shores of Panama, past the horizon line in 220 feet of water where 15 – 20 foot seas are the norm, sits one of the most unique and sustainable open ocean aquaculture operations that Seedstock has ever come across. Run by US-based aquaculture startup company Open Blue Sea Farms, the operation currently consists of a number of technologically advanced offshore pens in which a fish species known as Cobia is harvested carefully and humanely in pristine ocean waters. For reference, Cobia is a white meat fish that resembles a small shark in appearance and can grow to a maximum length of 78 inches and weight of 150 pounds.
The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS) has been promoting sustainable agriculture throughout the state since 1976. NSAS’s principal objectives are to encourage the growth of agriculture and food systems that fortify the land, provide a social benefit to individuals and communities, and improve the quality of life for present and future generations.