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未来粮食计划
FEEDING THE FUTURE
2020/7/1 8:58:58 来源: 世知网

By Christopher Worzel

Art by Greta Songe

世上的盐 译

世界在变,我们也要与时俱进。开垦农田和牧场会破坏森林,加剧气候变化,而现存的农田已然受到气候变化的威胁。但是,人类需要更多的粮食养活不断增加的全球人口,怎样才能种出足够多的庄稼让大家都有饭吃呢?居住在加拿大圭尔夫的未来学家克里斯托弗•沃尔兹提出了以下四种设想,一起来了解吧!

4 FARMING INNOVATIONS WE WILL SEE BY 2030

To cope with a changing world, we have to change as well. Converting land into farms or pastures removes forests and worsens climate change. And climate change is hurting farms that already exist. But we need to grow more food to support a growing global population. Here are four predictions for ways we’ll adapt to grow enough crops to feed everyone.

1. Pretty in Pink

A greenhouse is a building almost entirely made of glass or plastic. This protects the plants inside from animals and the weather, while giving them as much light and heat as possible. But now there is a step beyond greenhouses.

Scientists have discovered that plants grow best under a certain type of light, which can be provided by red and blue LEDs. The combination of these lights at the right level makes a space look pink. Since “pinkhouses” supply their own light, they don’t need to have fragile glass walls and ceilings. And they can be set up anywhere, including places that don’t get the amount of light greenhouses need.

Farmers completely control temperature and light, which can help some plants grow twice as well in pinkhouses as they do in traditional farming. Pinkhouses can allow for many more harvests per year since farming doesn’t have to stop in the winter.

Since pinkhouses can stack food in huge columns, one of these farms doesn’t need a lot of land. Farmers can set up pinkhouses in cities, massively cutting down on how far food has to travel to get to an urban dinner plate.

2. Vegetables of the Sea

You know that green, slimy stuff that grows in a fish tank if you don’t clean it for a while? That’s a type of algae, and it’s not just sea creatures that can eat it. Algae farming, or algaculture, is gaining in popularity for a few reasons.

For starters, you can do a lot of things with what you grow. Various uses for algae include bioplastics, fuel, medicine, pollution control, and yes, food.

A number of traditional dishes from around the world include algae, including sushi wrapped in nori and laverbread.


3. Getting Smart about the Great Outdoors

Even though pinkhouses are a great way to grow crops, lighting and heating an indoor space is very expensive. It doesn’t make sense to grow foods that take up a lot of space or that we need to grow lots of, like wheat, rice, and corn, in a pinkhouse. We will still need to grow those crops in fields.

What can we do? We can start farming smarter. Farmers will use satellite imagery to figure out exactly where to plant each crop. Think of a mixture of just the right crops, rather than a rectangle of one type of plant.

Sensors in the fields will measure the soil’s water level, temperature, and chemical content. The sensors will even be able to detect insects and send out notifications to a smartphone app. Irrigation systems will be tied to weather forecasting programs, allowing very precise watering and care, all calculated to get the best plant growth and yield.

4. Orchards Need More than Roots

Apples, oranges, grapes, and other foods that grow on trees or vines also require lots of space, so you can’t grow them inside. A mathematical approach may help these farms improve. For at least 50 years, orchards and vineyards have been gathering information on what works best and sharing their data.

Using this information, teams of scientists have developed techniques to grow fruit trees much closer together. This will allow some orchards to increase tree density (in the United States) from about 40 trees per acre five decades ago to over 3,000 trees per acre.

Christopher “Kit” Worzel is a Canadian futurist living in Guelph. He spends his workday doing research, writing, and being attacked by his overly enthusiastic cat. His degree in Molecular Biology and experience working with plant diseases in no way prepared him for forecasting the future of farming, which is why he spends so much time doing research.

来源:《英语沙龙》(原版阅读)2020年第5期

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