Today’s Solutions: December 02, 2022

Producing food for cows requires an enormous amount of land. In fact, the US uses 780 million acres — or 41 percent of its land — to grow animal feed, either on pastures or through growing crops. And as demand for animal food continues to grow, the availability of arable land decreases. In some areas, this results in cutting down forests to make room for such types of crops.

This is one of the main environmental challenges that startup Grōv Technologies aims to tackle by using vertical farms to grow feed for livestock. Resembling a tent-like structure, each of Grōv’s vertical farms takes up a little more than 850 square feet on the ground. But it can grow as much wheat or barley grass as 35 to 50 acres of farmland.

In addition to preventing deforestation, the company’s technology also saves significant amounts of water, using around 5 percent of what’s used in conventional farming. It can also reduce the distance to transport animal feed since the systems are intended to be built right next to farms raising dairy and beef cattle.

A large dairy farm in Utah, called Bateman’s Dairy Farm, is now the first one to test Grōv’s technology. Inside its new building, 10 towers, each around 25 feet tall, are growing wheatgrass. With an automated system featuring robots and smart sensors, which essentially take care of everything, it takes an average of around six and a half days for the crops to grow.

While Grōv provides support, the system is designed to operate on its own, without requiring any additional labor from the farmer. The technology has also been designed to operate as cost-efficiently as possible, with the startup claiming that farmers can break even on their investments in three years.

According to Grōv, its vertical farms aren’t intended to fully replace conventional farming, but to provide one portion of the mix of food that livestock eat. This, however, can still go a long way in helping prevent deforestation and land degradation associated with increasing agricultural demands.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Respect for Marriage Act protects same-sex and interracial marriages

In a rush before the upcoming Republican takeover of the House of Representatives next year, the US Senate has successfully enacted the Respect for Marriage Act, ...

Read More

Let’s embrace the Swedish winter tradition of “little Saturday”

In northern Sweden, where the winter season means up to 20 hours of darkness a day, staying positive during colder months is tough, but ...

Read More

Putting the moves on your own self — 6 benefits of masturbation

In light of Valentine’s week, we’re exploring all aspects of intimacy and love here at The Optimist Daily, so of course we had to ...

Read More

Playing video games benefit key regions of the brain

A recent study from Georgia State University found that sensorimotor decision-making skills were superior in regular video game players to those that didn’t play ...

Read More