Japan, Inc.: World’s First Robot-Run Farm will Harvest 30,000 Heads of Lettuce Daily

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Spread’s new automation technology will not only produce more lettuce, it will also reduce labor costs by 50%, cut energy use by 30%, and recycle 98% of water needed to grow the crops.

 reports: The Japanese lettuce production company Spread believes the farmers of the future will be robots.

So much so that Spread is creating the world’s first farm manned entirely by robots. Instead of relying on human farmers, the indoor Vegetable Factory will employ robots that can harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce every day.

“The use of machines and technology has been improving agriculture in this way throughout human history. With the introduction of plant factories and their controlled environment, we are now able to provide the ideal environment for the crops.”

— J.J. Price, a spokesperson at Spread

Don’t expect a bunch of humanoid robots to roam the halls, however; the robots look more like conveyor belts with arms. They’ll plant seeds, water plants, and trim lettuce heads after harvest in the Kyoto, Japan farm.

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Spread: A worker at the Kameoka Plant. Not a robot.

“The use of machines and technology has been improving agriculture in this way throughout human history,” J.J. Price, a spokesperson at Spread, tells Tech Insider. “With the introduction of plant factories and their controlled environment, we are now able to provide the ideal environment for the crops.”

[Read the full story here, at Tech Insider]

The Vegetable Factory follows the growing agricultural trend of vertical farming, where farmers grow crops indoors without natural sunlight. Instead, they rely on LED light and grow crops on racks that stack on top of each other.

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In addition to increasing production and reducing waste, indoor vertical farming also eliminates runoff from pesticides and herbicides — chemicals used in traditional outdoor farming that can be harmful to the environment. Read the rest of this entry »


China: Farmer Engraves Eggs to Commemorate 70th Anniversary of V-Day

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Li Aimin, a 63-year-old farmer from Shandong Province, spent a year sculpting the portraits of Chairman Mao Zedong and various war heroes on eggs to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory of World War Two.

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Li sculpted Chairman Mao on the sides of eggs with more than 20 different kinds of emotions and 249 Chinese founding military officers with clear details of their facial expressions like smiles or serious expressions.

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The famous Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill, were also among his works.

Li is a talented farmer with strong artistic sense, according to a report by Qilu Evening News. In four years, he has engraved more than 1,000 eggs, with everything from plants to animals.

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Li has worked as a farmer his entire life, but spends all of his spare time working on his sculptures. He expects to exhibit all of his special egg shell sculptures during the Victory Day.

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How to Capture a Rogue Bull: Vodka

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GERMANY: Bull Captured After Getting Drunk On Two A Glass Two Glasses A Bottle Two Bottles of Vodka

Jon David Kahn reports:  It all went down in the area around Kallmunz near Regensburg. About six months ago, the bull escaped its owner and went rogue, reportedly hiding out in the Bavarian woods for most of that time.  According to Bavarian Rudfunk radio, the bull was causing concern in the area.

The desperate owner initially appealed to a local veterinary office for permission to shoot and kill the bull. He was denied. Over the course of six months, the owner then attempted to shoot the bull with tranquilizers. But the bull eluded him repeatedly.

The bull found his match in a local farmer whose yard he frequented. The farmer’s first attempts to apprehend the bull proved unsuccessful. He tried catch him with a rope while it was eating from a bucket but the suspicious bull wandered off as the farmer approached. The farmer was too concerned with the bull’s health to fire off a tranquilizer so he turned to a bottle of vodka in hopes of slowing him down.

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