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Smart farms: feeding the world's 7 billion minds


Massive industrialization brought overdeveloped, polluted and traffic-congested cities. In a similar way, heavily industrialized farming brings soil depletion, water pollution and a food chain tainted with modified genes, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and other toxins. Fish, meat, fruits and vegetables are living organisms. That makes producing them far different from mining raw materials and shaping them into automobiles, highways, skyscrapers, household appliances and electronic gadgets. A laptop assembly line can be shut down if a parameter drifts out of range. But crops and livestock have to be kept living, breathing, eating, growing and reproducing 24/7/365. In other words, farming is as knowledge-intensive as it gets. It's both complex and complicated, with lots of moving parts, with a pinch of risk and uncertainty thrown in to make it both potentially rewarding and equally frustrating. In the Age of Computers, data had a negative tinge in the culture overall. It was seen-quite accurately -- as a reduction of a complex world to overly simple representations

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									The Future
     of the
          Smart farms: feeding the world’s 7 billion minds
By Art Murray                                 ability; sudden changes in weather          “The cattle eat it, so why not let them      rainfall simulator and other tools to
                                              and climate; invasive species. I’m          make
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