Agriculture Technologies

Sustainable agriculture and water conservation are necessary to protect our food and water resources. Large-scale, monoculture crops often deplete soil nutrients and pollute water supplies, leading to environmental degradation. Natural resource conservation and sustainable agriculture can help offset the effects of conventional farming while accommodating growing populations. Advanced indoor growing technologies, which can be powered by renewable energy, can provide increased yields while using less land, reducing water consumption, and using fewer pesticides and chemicals.

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LED tube lights on the OPCOM Farm Hydroponic GrowWall.

Food is a critical resource and a lot of work is involved in making sure supplies are resilient and secure. Adding local food production to a community through indoor agriculture can add an extra layer of protection to securing these resources. There are vacant warehouses and other buildings in many cities and towns that can be transformed into ...read more

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The group harvests fresh produce from Zion Garden Park in North Las Vegas, NV.

The word desert is not often associated with vibrant, freshly grown fruits and vegetables. However, recently, a group of local and out-of-town food system specialists went on a four-hour tour of the Las Vegas Valley to harvest a variety of produce, grown both indoors and outdoors, which they would turn into a meal later that evening. Located in ...read more

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Technology intern, Nathan Bosket, tending plants growing indoors in OPCOM Farm hydroponic equipment.

The Las Vegas Valley, a place in the Mohave Desert that imports almost all of its food, has a population of over two million people and hosts 40 million annual visitors. According to the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Nevada's Tourism, Gaming, and Entertainment sector spends two billion dollars annually on the food supply chain outside the state. If just a fraction of these dollars ...read more

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Two of Hoover Dam's four intake towers at Lake Mead.  Each tower controls one-fourth the supply of water for the power plant turbines and is 395 feet high with a diameter of 82 feet at the base.

If America’s largest man-made lake were a glass of water, would it be considered half full or half empty? Lake Mead, located 24 miles from the Las Vegas strip on the border of Nevada and Arizona, hit consecutive record lows in 2016, declining to an elevation of 1074 ft., its lowest level since the lake was originally filled in the 1930s. Although the news of Lake Mead’s record surface level made the headlines of every ...read more

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Squash growing at a local farm in the northern part of the Las Vegas Valley.

A few years back, I spent some time on the Navajo Indian Reservation designing a high-tech, indoor agricultural environment. This was going to enable the community to research how to grow produce with limited water, preserve their natural, non-GMO seeds, and use renewable energy to do it. This project had significant importance to the people living in the area because, in the past, they ...read more

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The affects of no rainfall as seen here in Death Valley National Park.

The negative implications of drought may reach the gas pump as ethanol-producing crops across the country have felt the effects of a reduction in water. You may think, "Why does this affect the gas pump?" Well, that is because much of the gasoline distributed today is blended with about 10% ethanol. Since 1970, ethanol has been ...read more