The Future of Farming

Over the next two decades, a technological
wave will revolutionize the efficiency of farms all over the world. It can’t come
soon enough. By the year 2050 the human population will be nearly 10 billion—which means we’ll
need to have doubled the amount of food we now produce. This is an examination of the agricultural
innovations coming down the pipeline that will help get us there. The industry has undergone major developments
over the last century. 100 years ago, farming looked like this. Today, it looks like this.
And tomorrow, it will look something like this. These changes have allowed many of us
to do other things with our lives. In 1900, 10.9 million agricultural workers produced
the food for 76 million people. Today, just 6.5 million workers feed 321.4 million Americans. Two factors were most responsible for this
surge in productivity: engines and the widespread availability of electricity. Today, the innovations on our immediate horizon
include autonomous pickers—UK researchers have already created one that gathers strawberries
twice as fast as humans, the challenge will be creating robotic pickers that can switch
between all kinds of crops; Robots or drones that can precisely remove
weeds or shoot them with a targeted spritz of pesticide, using 90% less chemicals than
a conventional blanket sprayer. For the organic farmer, they could zap the
weeds with a laser instead. This could have a big impact, the UN estimates that each year,
between 20 and 40% of global crop yields are destroyed by pests and disease.
Tiny sensors and cameras will monitor crop growth and alert farmers on their smartphones
if there’s a problem, or when it’s the best time to harvest;
The BoniRob can take a soil sample, liquidize it, then analyze its pH and phosphorous levels—all
in real time; As a proof-of-concept for all this autonomous
farming technology, researchers at Harper Adams in the UK plan to grow and harvest an
entire hectare of Barley without humans ever entering the field.
Companies like Agribotix have already commercialized software that analyzes drone-captured infrared
images to spot unhealthy vegetation. Then, like a real life game of “Sim-Farmer,”
the grower is alerted on their device when a troubled area is identified. Machine learning
will regularly improve the system’s ability to differentiate between varieties of crops
and the weeds that threaten them. Not to be left out, a company called Mavrx
contracts 100 pilots to fly light-aircraft that are outfitted with multispectral cameras
on data-gathering missions over large farms throughout the country;
For an even wider view, PlanetLabs operates a fleet of CubeSats that take weekly images
of entire farms from space to help monitor crops;
Other companies are creating analytics software to act as farm-management systems, allowing
growers of all sizes to deal with this new tsunami of data;
And The Farmer’s Business Network combines data from many farms into one giant pool to
give its members the power of macro-level insights that have traditionally only been
available to corporate mega-farms; Vertical farms are essentially warehouses
with stacks of hydroponic systems to grow leafy greens. They’re sprouting up in cities
all over the world where fresh produce — and land — is scarce. The key obstacle here
is the cost of energy, and the toll using a lot of it takes on the environment. The
upside is that artificial lights and climate controlled buildings allow crops to grow day
and night, year-round, producing a significantly higher yield per square foot than an outdoor
farm. For now though, only expensive, leafy greens like lettuce — or herbs like basil
— have proven profitable in the vertical system. And the jury is definitely still out
on whether this is truly and environmentally-friendly technique;
One possible solution is to use blue and red light wavelengths to optimize photosynthesis
and turbo-boost growth—a technique tested by researchers at project Growing Underground,
an experimental farm operating in old World War II bomb shelters underneath London;
Another advancement in indoor farming is the Open Agriculture Initiative, which aims to
create a “catalogue of climates” so temperature and humidity can be set to recreate the perfect
conditions for growing crops that would normally come from all over the world, locally instead.
This is an attempt to tackle the “food miles” issue. When produce is shipped around the
world it creates unnecessary CO2 emissions. Just look at a where a few of the items you
eat today were cultivated to understand how big of a problem this is.
The millions of people entering the middle class every year in developing countries are
demanding tens of millions of pounds of additional meat. These ideas aim to get the most from
every animal. Who would’ve thought Fitbits could be for
livestock too? Cows are being fitted with smart collars that monitor if they’re sick
or, if they’re moving around more, which is a sign of fertility;
Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College are analyzing cow breath. Exhaled ketones
and sulfides reveal potential problems with an animal’s diet;
Thermal imaging cameras spot inflamed udders to provide earlier treatment to combat a bacterial
infection known as mastitis, one of the costliest setbacks in the dairy industry;
3-D cameras that quickly measure the weight and muscle mass of cattle so they’re sold
at their beefiest; Companies have even begun positioning microphones
above pig pens to detect caughs, giving sick animals the treatment they need a full 12
days earlier than before. Less antibiotics are used if fewer animals become ill for shorter
lengths of time; And a system of just three cameras, developed
by researchers in Belgium, tracks the movements of thousands of chickens to analyze their
behavior and spot over 90% of possible problems; Here’s a stat that I found eye-opening:
consumption of farmed fish has now surpassed our consumption of beef. Researchers are working
to increase the types of fish that are raised. Aquaculturists at the Institute of Marine
and Environmental Technology in Baltimore are developing an artificial ecosystem that
mimics ocean conditions so that saltwater fish farms can be built inland. This would
allow millions of landlocked people to be able to enjoy fresh fish, instead of consuming
frozen fish grown or caught on the coast that have to be shipped thousands of miles in refrigerated
trucks that use a lot of energy. The most exciting thing about this experimental
fish farm is that it’s actually a closed system that creatively uses three sets of
bacteria in different ways to so it doesn’t produce any waste and even powers itself.
[Dr. Yonathan Zohar]: “This is the world’s most sustainably produced fish. The system
is completely and fully contained. There is zero interaction with the environment. There
is no waste. Zero waste goes back to the environment, which is the big problem with aquaculture
today.” This revolutionary technique could be critical
for saving species in the wild, like rapidly depleting bluefin tuna populations, without
curbing the appetites of sushi lovers like me; Another ingenious approach from a company
in California are proteinaceous fish food pellets made from the bodies of a bacteria
that grow by consuming a combination of methane, oxygen, and nitrogen. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization
estimates that 2 billion people consume insects as part of their diet. [Insect eater]: “I eat insects like this
because they provide nutrition. The nourish the body, they are not too fatty but have
lots of good ingredients. If you eat these all the time, you will get sick very rarely.” Bugs are among the cheapest, most nutritious,
environmentally-friendly sources of protein. So there’s a growing movement to find new
ways to incorporate them into food products that can be marketed in a way that doesn’t
gross people out. Some examples are protein powder and insect
flour. But even if insects never make it onto many of our plates, they can still help us
a lot as animal feed; On the other end of the alternative protein
spectrum is lab grown meat. In 2013 the first hamburger was made from muscle cells grown
in a lab in the Netherlands, followed by a meatball grown by a California company called
Memphis Meats. These grabbed headlines, but production costs need to come way down before
we’ll be buying synthetic meats in significant quantities. [Dr. Mark Post]: “So it’s better for the
environment. And we need much less resources to actually produce it so that we can produce
much more meat with much less resources so that we can feed the entire planet. And we’ll
probably look back at this time as sort of barbaric, that we still killed animals and
used animals to such a degree for our meat consumption.” Human survival on earth has, by necessity,
driven us to use–and change–the world around us. Some of our most powerful innovations
are aimed at solving problems we ourselves create. As climate patterns change and human
population rises, the prospect of a global food shortage becomes increasingly dire–it’s
a threat that even the deployment of millions of autonomous farmer-bots would be unlikely
to solve. But where man-made machines may fall short, bacterial machines may very well
prevail…bringing me to the technology that can continue to deliver the biggest increases
in crop yield: genetic modification. Scientific breakthroughs like CRISPR, genomic selection,
and SNP’s now allow single letters within a gene to be precisely edited. Unlike older
methods of genetic manipulation, like transgenic modifications that made uncontrolled alterations
to large regions of DNA, CRISPR — a gene editing system repurposed
from bacteria — more closely mimics the process of random mutation. This process is
critical for environmental adaptation, Darwinian natural selection, and — ultimately — evolution.
While this fact alone may not placate the most passionate anti-GMO advocate, highly
precise techniques, like CRISPR should help ease the legitimate health and environmental
concerns that have thus far curbed significant commercial investments. But not everyone is
sitting on the sidelines. Two large agricultural companies, DuPont and
Syngenta, have used genome selection to develop two new, drought-tolerant strains of corn
called AQUAmax and Artesian. Then there’s the NextGen Cassava project
led by Cornell University, in partnership with research institutes all over Africa,
that aims to “significantly increase the rate of genetic improvement in cassava breeding
to unlock the full potential of this staple crop that’s central to food security and
livelihoods across Africa.” Genetically improving the cultivation of other
crops that haven’t been modified yet could additionally lead to huge yield increases
for millet and yams, for example; Rice, one of the world’s most important
crops, has seen its yield plateau—meaning that, for years now, the maximum amount that
can be grow on, say, an acre of land has not increased.
The C4 Rice Project — a massive global collaboration between 18 biology labs spread across four
continents — is trying to change that. Their goal is to genetically engineer a new strain
of rice so that its photosynthetic process works more like maize, which would — theoretically
— turbo boost its yield by 50%. And, of course, it’s not just crops, pig
lines are being altered to make them immune to an illness that costs American farmers
$600m a year. While it is hard to predict which of these
developments will have the greatest impact on food production, we should be pursuing
all of them. The use of genetic technologies will, inevitably, prove essential for tackling
what would likely be an insurmountable challenge, sustainably doubling our global food supply.
The good news is that some of the world’s most creative scientists, engineers, farmers,
and innovators are working on solutions for this problem, even as you watch this video. This piece was based on articles that recently
appeared in the The Economist and the journal Nature. And our recent video on India’s highway
megaproject led some of you to suggest other projects for us to look into. Your suggestions
for video topics are always appreciated. Thanks for watching. Until next time, for
TDC, I’m Bryce Plank.

Comments 100

  • The Aquaculture stuff is most interesting. We need to tap into marine nutrients more.

  • As a farmer in California, I can assure the creator of this film that I can produce four times the production of vegetables on one square foot of ground than a hydroponic warehouse farm can under artificial light. I agree it's an interesting idea, but it doesn't come close to the production or cost efficiency U.S. Farmers produce vegetables for on one acre of land.

    On the other hand, as Amazon continues to decimate the 1980's economic model of Brick & Mortar stores leaving vacant malls all around US cities, maybe these facilities can be used for something productive again like growing food. It would just need to make economic sense for private industry to rehab a mall into a indoor vegetable growing facility and turn a profit.

    Lastly, we do not need to double production to feed the world. The world needs to stop making more people. Their's already a tremendous amount of wasted crop left in fields that the U.S. public deems unusable due to a slight blemish, whereas in foreign countries they would be happy to have that same food product.

  • the only way to feed the world population is to have more people grow their own food, back in WW2 era, alot of families did have their own little plot of food, had chickens, and in towns and cities especially in brittian took their food waste to a local farmer who owned pigs and fed it to them, instead of throwing it in the trash that would end up in the dump. Even if we turn away from our wasteful way of society we would not have alot of the problems we have today. More is not always better.

  • Although advancements in technology is great, I believe that we are aiming wrong and misusing it. We are putting 'us' in the centre and everything revolving around us, instead of us being part of the whole ecosystem.

    Most of those advancements produce 'perfect' looking food that lacking in nutrients. Mega farms with mono-crops create an unbalance in the system and affect millions of other living organisms that depend on natural diverse ecosystems. Animals farmed as if they were things… We're losing respect for all life around us and this will not take us to a good place 🙁

    If you look at nature, you will see that exponential growth of anything will eventually (sooner rather than later) collapse.

    So, instead of focusing on producing-producing-producing, we should be looking at ways of living more in tune with nature. Always giving back to the earth more than what we take. Respecting all life around us, plants, animals and other people.

  • elephant in the room by 2024 they'll be an 87 million dollar seaweed industry. Do not underestimate the sushi.

  • Synthetic meat is the future, less cows less methane easier production of food. Win win win?

  • Rich people will always eat organic food and the poor part of the population will consume this.

  • we already have so many humans on earth and they all hate each other.. i suggest to start using condoms in advance

  • Please taught us in many countries too!

  • 0:13 It should means that we need to waste less….

  • We really have to stabilize the expansion of industries or else we will end up living in an industrial world.

    Agriculture is a major source, food is a necessity.

  • If we double our food production is that mean double food waste to? We don’t need more food just better distribution. Go organic and sustainable.

  • Oh god I hope not. The future of our culture, relationships, and social well-being desperately needs a revisionist of our technological vector! I guess it depends on your definition of living!

  • Destroy the tastes For the sake of money

  • I want to be a drone when i grow up.

  • my head is spinning…….

  • Interedting.

    Just a point of fact. You don't kill weeds with pesticides, you use herbicides. Pesticides will do nothing to a weed. Funny how many videos I see where this mistake is made.

  • We dont need to double the production, but we just need thanoz

  • there is hope. Thank god.

  • Obama legacy should continue with gen x,y,z. His past accomplishments on infrastructure like getting technology aiding farm yields.From afar, I hope could continue with present and future presidential legacies, where We the People's will be done progressively. Just because we are under another administration doesnt mean we must cease being considerate of the poor, minorities, and marginalized now and then yesteryears and tomorrows. Stay true as if the all seeing and hearing eyes of God are about us along with the rest of world as we patiently trucewise hope for our biblically prophetic dead in christ,living remnant, and the rest of the dead additionally to arise… stay faithful in thesedays. And pray for our leaders near and far including God's faithful yet sinners like me. also please pray for my family who see thesedays me through a darkly lit perception. My dad wants to evict me away from his home where my mom is. I try to stay out of his case but his perception of me is warped and skewed for some demonizing reason. My pastor said intentions ought to be much weighed in dynamics of interactions with aggressors and nonaggressors.I might need advice and maybe court advocate next month and rest of days the Lord Jesus Christ has made. U know when a bro has a spiritual plank or beam in their eyes and no matter what you say or do they can see themselves nor point of verbal abusing direction towards me? That is my side/tad of spiritual struggle I am in. I am one who has no shame but care for much meekly. I will try praying with my church membership this last week of March and beyond over it. Peace, kudos Obama though. And prayers to those keeping the peace like me overseas in their families and near and far countries including Trump, Macron, or Putin, who know also what persecution spiritiually is like…we might not have Obama in office but those strides of his could have not been in a vacuum. Other world leaders around him stepped up and led along with Obama during his years like macron, british, hispanic, asian, and putin agreeing leadership and support. They might not agree too much with past and present Prez', but they care and still do on some level without Obama in the line up of responsibility for the people. Don't forget our progress and the recent peaceful strides near and far outcome in Syria thusfar. Marginal gains are gains , with relooming recession since 2007-2008, despite thrivings coattailed years of 'previous' economic investments by Obama & his administration and 'extra' market racial confidence in first two of 3 years of trump & his administration.. The violence getting to that point might be also argumentative. It begats itself but I hope we end the cycle of violence and poverty based ones… minds and perspective must change before one iota of true change overtime stays happened towards the will of the people, not tyrants' desperational aggression to prove their case. We have much to be grateful about in these moments. Most of past successes wasnt Obama in a vacuum, other nations did copperate and ought to still…trustingly. if they have offended one another. Patch up what needs to be patched up like N. KOREA relations or neighborly dynamics near and far have less chance in the wait being held in esteem in future presence of God's 2nd Coming arrival…[the witness that sees all knows all and almighty.] Our Jesus Christ isnt as blind as we might get. Keep your hearts and mouths cleaner family, including trump types needing support and guidance. Our pomp will be realized for what it is. Forgive one another each others trespasses and the Lord will forgive us in kind.

    Please Stay, keeping the Peace my fellow faithful from midwest to Mideast and those afar. I thank you for that birthday gift during trump days, Mideast going electric on initial levels of progress direction, at least it is an early bdaymonth surprise. Keep green peace golden by advancing better interrelations.

  • I like this new agriculture technology

    I'm agriculture student
    IGKV raipur cg india

  • Sorry next

  • Global precision farming market size is projected to reach approximately $9.60 billion by 2024 from $5.01 million in 2017 with a CAGR of 13.40% during the forecast timeline 2019-2024.

    Request a [email protected]

  • go vegan !!!

  • Hello, my name is Sidnei. I am a lawyer in Brazil and I work with agribusiness. We will keep in touch, because Brazil is very strong in this area and we can do great business. My whatsapp is +5511973521989 and my email is [email protected]

  • It’s all going to kill us or destroy the earth more must go back to the original maybe it’s too late

  • very nice and most welcome all the technology

  • GMO's have NOTHING to do with feeding the future, they have EVERYTHING To do with CONTROLLING the future. Playing god is the devil's work. Monsatan can go BACK TO HELL.

  • thats it I'm going into agriculture for uni

  • Libtards, vegans and ecoterrorists all triggered by this video. GMO's, technology and the integration of our inovation into the environment will actually solve the problems, in a market society way. We already see profits from aquaculture and vegetables who heavily rely on transport, i.e gradually reducing the carbon footprint without needing govt regulations and crazy green new deal.

  • Amazing!!!

  • Great and creative thinking projects!! I love brainiacs!

  • Stop quoting the UN…that is a socialist regime that should never have been created. It is also a entity that places people from women hating countries…into positions for women's rights….but their home country women have no rights….go figure

  • altyazılar çok hızlı

  • 4.50 inek ağlıyor

  • indoor marine farming would be pretty neat

  • Cool technology but don’t like the sound of synthetic meat Im not sold on that idea

  • We need indoor farming to save the forest and environment

  • So Useful. thnx

  • That's why Mars will be the next home for human, the sun as well. If you smarter than… you control God, if not God control you.

  • This actually made me feel very hopeful for the future.

  • How does anyone dislike this video?

  • this video sucks

  • we neeed to stop this how dare you


  • Giant monocultures of any kind are gonna be the death of our species.
    You either adapt to the actual, local conditions of your environment or pests, erosion and soil depletion ruin you.

  • Compost is the answer


  • The fact is that many humans aren't green thumb ,, if they were all green thumbs will be lest problem with vegetables😠

  • Como importa essa coleiras inteligente

  • Are your pigs coughing?….There's an app for that!

  • The biggest improvement in more Food-production is more CO2 in the atmosphere. It called "global greening". More CO2 = more biomass= more Food. Stopp the klima-hoax…


  • 1. The impact of the herd under holistic agriculture is turning degraded soils into lush green pastures
    2. The plow destroys the soil ecosystem, rolling crimper and no-till cover crops restoring the land reducing chemical dependence
    3 China has a plant-based powder that causes sand to hold water a few thousand US Dollars per hector

  • this is scary and ugly – how people press "like"????

  • The future of farming is not having to farm…

    Why do this? we could simply go extinct, and end all our problems…

  • Can you put russian subtittles ?

  • The way agriculture is Done is extremely harmful for nature and so for people but also directly for people(fertilizer in groundwater). We need to Switch to sustainable Models like permaculture and we need to restore the by conventional agriculture infertile rendered lands with organic Matter in cooperation with nature if we want our biodiversity and Planet to survive long term. Also we need to genetically diversify to be resistant to plant illnesses. If we continue to use only one genetical Type it needs only one Bad plant illness to destroy agricultural crops large scale. So lets do it

  • Trust me, monoculture will not be a thing of the future. Agriculture needs to change a lot about itself and if not we’re all screwed..

  • Thanks for the useful information. Greetings from bee-keeping in Romania.

  • Thanks for the useful information. Greetings from bee-keeping in Romania.





  • The natural farming movement also has some value, as it brings friends and families together and keeps the community strong. I wonder whether agriculture looks at these values as well. I’m anxious to return to more social times.

  • Wow, I just love this technology, especially an artificial burger 🍔, WOW. Might have give Mac Donald’s a new name.

  • Animal agriculture is destroying the planet….

  • Bright future for agriculture

  • Make video on hair growth and regrowth and technology of hair transplantion

  • We really appreciate the high Quality of research and we believe that this technology should be brought to india as pilot project , we can really be a catalyst to help these resolutions to build a better India . Thank you again for sharing our imaginations into a video.

  • We need to know how to grow food in the desert that is what is needed not just to concentrate on the the area's that are green there can be enough food for us all the United 🐍 has the technology to do so just look at the movie dune

  • Thank you this was very helpful and informative 👍👍

  • I hate humanity… Industrial farming of land and sea/ocean animals is sick. You are muppets ruining animal welfare for selfish greedy needs. Overeating of meat and fish and eggs and animal products, while keeping poor animals locked up like some frickin property in terrible conditions. Would you like to be grown like they are? SICKOS! I think you do not want your kids to be grown like you grow animals… Maybe you should feel how it feels… ?

    Permaculture, free range, organic, regeneraive farming, natural feeds, not separating babies from parent animals, not keeping fish locked in small containers all their life… Stop being zombies!

  • Frickin idiots grow fish locked in small containers. No plants, no phytoplankton, no natural mud or ground or micronutrients and organisms and other stuff…. May you be grown in such conditions yourselves if you continue to do what you do. Insane greedy humanity. Farmed fish like that is criminal. You can only maybe start off baby fish lives in big batches and then let them into the wild waters. YOu cannot keep them locked up like this. They have feelings and brain and family sense, and babies and etc. Go research.

  • They should liquefy all the useless humans, and feed them to some hungry tomatos

  • prefiro a agricultura orgânica artesanal.

  • very interesting


  • Blessings and anointing of Israel, always new every day, praise God.

  • Africa still waiting for old advancement, and still hungry to the bone, but it never came,
    pretty fishy these advancements only help rich countries specifically the US

  • looks good

  • which bacteria do you use

  • People need to get back on the land to produce food for themselves. Total mechanizing will kill the current civilization

  • Agricultural water project in Ecuador, going through the serious earthquake in 2016, these Glass-Fused-to-Steel tanks are safe and sound. Center Enamel is the first GFS Bolted tanks manufacturer in Asia

  • The future of farming is massive corporations buying all the land and farming it autonomously with robots.

    The family farm is going to be a thing of the past. Even families that hold out will just be undercut and bankrupt by the corporations and their land will be gobbled up to.

    The future is a corporotocracy.

  • Technology is doing amazing things with different farms. Autonomous Solutions Inc., is one company that is helping the farming industry. They are doing some amazing things!

  • Double the food production? For 10 000 million people?
    ridiculous idea…

    By the way – incoming Grand Solar Minimum will decrease food production to the level about ~10%, how do you want feed 10 billion people? Forget about clean water for them, clothes, fuel and machines…
    P.S.I finally disliked- what is WRONG with you! CO2 is USED to boost the production in greenhouses!!! It is good life gas! Provenby satelites, grening on Sahel…
    10:30– how funny idiots,in this years most of crop were dying from flood damage…

  • That's so amazing, man.

  • When are USA farmers gonna stop using anything Monsanto


    Provide suitable tools and syllabus to students. Because the students need to learn how to develop and practice the technologies. Faculty also need to use all provided tools in learning lesson.


  • hi eddie

  • you forgot to say that today's 30% of food is thrown away

  • High-Five to all them sushi-lovers

  • Re: using lasers to zap agricultural pests. I can just see it now, the rise of the laser resistant cabbage butterfly.

  • See video ->

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