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Eka’s Weekly Roundup (25 August 2023)
Issue 44 l Dreaming of electric plants
Electrical horticulture is an innovative approach to boosting crop productivity and sustainability. Researchers globally are using electrical methods like electric fields and cold plasma to improve agriculture, known as "smart farming" or the "fourth agricultural revolution." This technique addresses modern agriculture challenges, including climate change, energy efficiency, and increased yield. Unlike historical uncertainties, recent advancements in plant biology and wearable plant technology, such as the PhytlSigns system, enable better monitoring of plant signals for early pest detection, disease prevention, and precise nutrient management.
Electrical Horticulture 🗞️
Electrical horticulture is emerging as a groundbreaking approach to boosting crop productivity while minimizing environmental impact. Researchers worldwide are delving into electrical interventions to enhance agriculture, such as employing electric fields to amplify crop yields or using cold plasma to expedite seed germination. Often referred to as "smart farming" or the "fourth agricultural revolution," this innovative technique holds promise for tackling the complex challenges of modern agriculture, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, curbing energy consumption, and increasing crop production in the face of a changing climate.
While reminiscent of 19th-century experiments in "electroculture," today's advancements in plant biology and bioelectronic devices provide a solid foundation for practical application. Wearable technology for plants, exemplified by the PhytlSigns system, enables growers to monitor and interpret plant signals. This technology aids in early detection of pests, prevention of diseases, and precise nutrient management. These developments mark a significant departure from historical uncertainties surrounding electrical interventions in agriculture, as modern tools allow for more comprehensive understanding and implementation.
Researchers are also exploring ways to shape plant growth through electrical stimulation. This newfound ability has the potential to transform conventional farming practices, enabling crops to be cultivated in unconventional orientations, such as vertically stacked growth or even in space environments. As electrical horticulture gains traction, it offers a ray of hope for advancing global food security and sustainable farming practices by harnessing the power of electricity to revolutionize the agricultural landscape.
Week in Impact Articles ✍🏽
3 Key Charts 📊
1. Can’t overstate the importance of nitrogen fertilizer
2. Climate is the topic of conversation at Boards
3. Where the consumer spends their money
Deal Capture 💰
Deals in the impact space across the UK and Europe
AI-powered battery health startup Accure raised $8m.
Clean Found Group
Palm oil alternative CFG raised £2m.
Psilocybin company Compass Pathways raised 285m in funding. Involved a consortium of healthcare investors.
Heat pump provider DREM raised €2m. Led by Peak.
Alternative meat startup ENOUGH raised €40m. Led by World Fund and CPT Capital.
Biodiversity startup NatureMetrics raised £10m. Investors not disclosed.
Battery manufacturer Northvolt raised $1.2b in a convertible note. Included Blackrock.
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