Vertical farming technology companies are not all solely focused on feeding humans with leafy green garnish, some like American firm Grōv Technologies are using their innovative technology to grow animal feed. They do so with 95% reductions in water and land use as well as the complete removal of herbicides and pesticides from the growth chain. Today Grōv Technologies announced that it will build a controlled environment feed centre in the US state of Texas to grow fresh High-Density Nutrient (HDN) Superfeed™ year-round.
The centre at the Cnossen Dairy will house next generation Grōv Tower Farm technology and produce over 288,000 lbs (131,000 kg) of feed PER DAY with less than 5% of the water used in conventional farming. These savings will be critical in lessening the impact of drought conditions affecting the Cnossen Dairy, and many dairies in West Texas and across the Western U.S.
“We are proud to have industry leaders like Jim and Cord Cnossen to showcase the future of sustainable dairy feed,” said Steve Lindsley, President of Grōv. “Being able to provide their cows with a highly nutritious consistent feed year-round will reduce the impact of droughts and changing climates and help the Cnossens deliver a more sustainably produced product to consumers.”
Cnossen Dairy was started 45 years ago and is owned and operated by Jim Cnossen. The dairy currently milks 11,000 cows and farms over 7,500 acres of cropland. The new Cnossen-Grōv Feed Centre will be a key showcase in the region for demonstrating sustainable agricultural technology and will become the largest indoor feed growing facility in the world.
“We are struggling through one of the driest periods on record and need to incorporate new technologies that help us survive these water shortages,” said Jim Cnossen, the dairy’s owner. “We also believe that feeding fresh Grōv HDN year-round will help improve the overall health, welfare and productivity of our cows.”
Collaborating on the new feed centre is Dairy Specialists, a leading regional dairy supplier, who will provide local service and support for the automation, sensors, and machine learning capabilities of the new towers. Key goals in supporting the Cnossen Feed Centre include reduction of labour and carbon emissions as they work towards becoming a Net Zero operation.
“Labour shortages and changing climates have affected most if not all of the dairies we service,” said Bill Dyer, CEO of Dairy Specialists. “Our goal is to support our farmers and ranchers with innovative technologies that will ensure sustainability and profitably in the challenging years ahead, and we believe Grōv’s technology platform is key to meeting those challenges.”
Grōv Technologies is already collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring cloud-based machine learning capabilities to its Sowyer operating system, a cloud-based operating system which autonomously runs and monitors each of its Olympus Tower Farms and offers insights to Grōv researchers.
Grōv Technologies will be presenting at the World Dairy Expo, Sept 28th – Oct 2nd.