How agtech Roots Sustainable is helping farmers flourish in volatile climates
Food & Agriculture
Special report: Record-breaking climate events are occurring with higher frequency, increasing demand in the agriculture sector for technological solutions.
Six different heat records were smashed in the first weeks of July across the United States and Canada, The Washington Post reported earlier this month.
Locally, Australian farmers are also battling severe drought conditions, particularly in rain-starved parts of New South Wales.
The agriculture sector is an energy-intensive space across the globe, and as populations rise and food security becomes a serious concern, farming producers are turning to solutions to produce crops as efficiently as possible.
Both on the ASX and across the world, the rise in AgTech investment shows the urgency in this space, with $US10 billion being invested in disruptive businesses last year.
One player providing a solution for energy efficient crop production is Israel-based startup Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO).
The company has now demonstrated its patented “Root Zone Temperature Optimisation” (RTZO) technology in five separate markets, including Australia, Israel, the US, China, and Spain.
From lettuce to medicinal cannabis, Roots is demonstrating how it can potentially curb the resource output needed to grow crops against a backdrop of incredibly challenging growing conditions worldwide.
The Roots approach helps agriculture producers fight temperature and energy concerns on a number of fronts.
The growing approach, which uses ground source-based heat exchange with vertical coils and circulation pumps, helps to heat and cool crop roots as needed and smooths out temperature variance.
The energy saving system has been shown to shorten crop yield cycles and increase yields on offer. This means farmers can produce goods over a shorter period of time with less energy as compared with common air heating and cooling options.
The technology has also been trialled in hydroponic facilities and greenhouses, demonstrating it works even when crops are grown in spaces other than open fields.
As arable land decreases, particularly in countries like China, greenhouse growing and efficient land use practices are taking up more significance.
The company’s solar/wind-powered Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) system “Irrigation by condensation” can help produce crops off electricity grids.
The proprietary system irrigates crops by condensing air humidity on the external surface of pipes that are placed at near the plant’s roots.
In a world focused on resource and cost efficiencies across the board, this disruptive technology can help farmers grow crops from condensed moisture in the air, without having to add additional irrigation.
Pilot tests of the technology have already shown its use in growing some crops.
This special report is brought to you by Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies.
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