Sunday, May 17, 2009

The future of California agriculture?

Interesting story in the LA Times on new, modern greenhouse technology. Of course, it is more expensive to produce this way than in a conventional field (for now), but this is why I'm not worried that we are all going to starve in the future if we don't send more water to agriculture.

The farm's 450 permanent employees climb ladders to pick the fruit instead of stooping. The plants, which are fed individually through tubing that looks like intravenous hospital equipment, produce 20 times more fruit per acre than in conventional field production...has cut water use to less than one-fifth of that required in conventional field cultivation. Fertilizer use has been reduced by half. There are no herbicides and almost no pesticides, and there is no dust.

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