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Bennett Kireker New York: Big Data, Analytics, and Agriculture

Bennett Kireker from New York spent summers on his grandparents’ apple orchard along the Hudson River. While he is now based in Pismo Beach, California, he still flies out to New York to reconnect with his farming roots. He also works with farmers near Pismo Beach to improve their harvests. Bennett J Kireker is a distributor of agricultural equipment, including seeding machines and plows, but recognizes the growing role of new and disruptive technologies in future farms. These include the Internet of Things and big data.

For Bennett Kireker of New York, farming is not the most exact of sciences. While farmers and researchers alike have access to all sorts of tools to predict soil conditions, weather patterns, and crop yields, the results they get are often far from the predictions churned out by different models. Thus, many farmers, especially in underdeveloped economies, rely instead on traditional modes of farming that neither maximize crop yield nor prove to be sustainable in the long run.

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However, several researchers believe that the issue lies not with the type of data that is available, but rather, with the amount of it. Bennett J Kireker believes that modern agriculture should focus on real-time monitoring of soil, weather, and crops, instead of using the previous growing season’s patterns. This strategy is most applicable to areas that are vulnerable to climate change, especially the tropics. Traditional methods of handling data, however, are not able to capture everything that contributes to plant and animal development.

Thus, Bennett Kireker suggests that farmers and agricultural departments shift to Big Data methods when acquiring and analyzing information. These models utilize a massive amount of both historical and current data to create a more complete picture of the farm’s current condition and its condition in the next few days, weeks, and even months. Using a set of sensors deployed strategically throughout the farm, data is fed into a central server which churns out reports in visual form. These could take the form of charts and heat maps.

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Similarly, drones and mini-weather stations could also feed data into the server, with the latter producing more reports that may be viewed using a mobile app, or, in the case of developing economies, in SMS format. Thus, Bennett J Kireker believes, farmers can then have all the information they need to plan the next planting and harvest cycles at their fingertips.

Researchers are only beginning to scratch the surface of what big data can do in agriculture. Bennett Kireker, New York native, is excited to see how else these technologies can make a positive impact on farms and farmers worldwide.


Bennett Kireker New York: Three More Ways Drones are Changing Agriculture

Bennett Kireker is a New York native who now lives in Pismo Beach, California. As a kid, he used to spend summers on his grandparents’ apple orchard just outside New York City. Because of this early exposure to the soil, he decided to engage in farming and agricultural technology. Bennett J Kireker travels twice a year to New York to check on his grandparents’ orchard and works with farmers in California’s Central Coast to improve crop yields and quality. Today, he discusses how drones help farmers monitor their crops and farms, from pre-planting to post-harvest.

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For Bennett Kireker, UAVs will become almost ubiquitous in tomorrow’s farms. Their applications, according to the MIT Technology Review, are now solving real-life agricultural problems. Bennett J Kireker is excited about these technologies as they can help both small and large farmers feed a population that is projected to increase its food demand significantly soon. Below are three more agricultural applications of drone technology.

Irrigation. Bennett Kireker, New York native, has read that drones can be fitted with all sorts of cameras and sensors to capture different kinds of data. These include thermal sensors and infrared cameras, which can indicate soil moisture and temperature levels, including the plots that require more water. Once the crops are planted, aerial photographs can help farmers calculate vegetation levels, which are indicators of the health of the crop. Both technologies play vital roles in the planning of irrigation channels and water sources.

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Crop Health Assessment. Different kinds of vegetation emit and reflect different kinds of light, which can only be spotted using specialized cameras. The same applies to both healthy and unhealthy plants, including those which are affected by fungal or bacterial diseases. Drones give farmers a bird’s eye view of tree conditions, which, because of their height, cannot be spotted from the ground. Aerial photos and near-infrared photos can track plant health over a period to establish infection trends and to help determine the next course of action. This, Bennett J Kireker believes, can make decision-making faster and more efficient.

Close-Up Crop Monitoring. Before drones came into wide use, farmers had to rely on satellite imagery to monitor their crops from the air. However, for Bennett Kireker of New York, satellite images are unreliable due to different factors. For instance, the distance between the satellite and the farms could affect the image quality. Second, because satellite images are sent only once a day, they were of little help when dealing with situations that require real-time action. Third, the cost was prohibitive for most farmers. Drones, on the other hand, are low-cost alternatives to satellites and offer better image quality under a variety of weather conditions.


Bennett Kireker New York: Three Ways Drones are Helping Farmers

Bennett Kireker from New York grew up visiting his grandparents’ farm on weekends. While he now lives in Pismo Beach, California, he goes back to New York occasionally to check on the status of the farm. Bennett J Kireker is very interested in urban farming and the use of modern technology to maximize crop yields. He is particularly interested about the prospects of using digital imaging systems to help farmers plan their planting and harvesting cycles. This article is the first part of a two-part blog about the way drones are helping shape the future of agriculture.

For Bennett Kireker, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are no longer the novelty items that they used to be. Drones have been in use in different industries, such as defense and security and media. However, according to the MIT Technology Review, scientists have been cooperating with farmers in developing agriculture-specific applications for UAVs. These applications, Bennett J Kireker believes, have the potential to change the agricultural landscape. Below are three of them.

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Field analysis. Bennett Kireker, New York born and bred, thinks that drones can be used to help in the pre-planting phase of the crop cycle. Using high-resolution cameras, UAVs can produce three-dimensional maps of the farm and surrounding areas, considering the topography and condition of the soil. These maps are useful in planning seeding and planting activities. After the seeds are planted, these maps can also help farmers plan and dig irrigation channels as well as areas where nitrogen is most needed with a high degree of precision.

Seeding. Bennett J Kireker remembers spending days slouched over the soil, planting seeds and applying starter fertilizer to the shoots. While this phase of the crop cycle has largely been automated using heavy farming machinery, drones could help in avoiding the soil compaction that accompanies the use of these machines. A startup company, for instance, develops agricultural drones that insert “pods” containing seeds and essential nutrients, directly into the soil. Preliminary tests indicate that this lowers planting costs by over 80% and improves seed survival by more than 70%.

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Crop Dusting. While crop dusting has been mainly done by hand or by plane, both have their drawbacks – manual spraying exposes farmers to high levels of chemicals, while planes tend to spray too much liquid in the wrong places. For Bennett Kireker, New York farms are the ideal venues for using drone-based crop spraying and dusting technologies as there are concerns about chemicals leaching into the groundwater. Using drones is also safer as there is a lower chance of drones crashing into the ground, thanks to technology that helps drones adjust their altitude according to the topology of the farm.

Bennett J Kireker will discuss more exciting agricultural applications of UAV technology in a future article. Stay tuned!


Bennett Kireker on How Farmers Can Benefit from Mini-Weather Data

Bennett Kireker grew up in New York. Just outside New York City is a sprawling rural area where various kinds of fruits and other produce are grown, and Bennett J Kireker was exposed to agriculture at a very young age. He remembers listening to community radio stations with his grandparents, waiting for the daily weather forecast, so that they could decide on the best time to spray fertilizer or to harvest fruits which could be spoiled by extreme weather conditions. Today, he writes about a technology which could help farmers and gardeners predict weather, and thereby make informed decisions about their crops.

For Bennett Kireker, New York is more than the bright lights of the Five Boroughs. Outside the city, farmers grow different kinds of crops, including the world-famous apples that gave New York City its nickname, “The Big Apple”. Most fruit crops are grown on family-owned and operated farms, and this allows local farmers to pay closer attention to their crops. In upstate New York and other agricultural areas, however, the farms can stretch for hundreds or even thousands of acres.

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Just like big cities, certain areas of a large farm can have different weather patterns that make farming activities difficult to plan. In one part of a farm, fruits must be harvested before the rain could damage them, while on the other end, the trees might not be receiving enough water to support the production of fruit. Because of this, the age-old traditions of consulting farmers’ almanacs and checking the daily weather forecasts are no longer practical. Bennett Kireker believes that farming is now a 24/7 job, and part of that job involves monitoring the soil and weather conditions in different parts of the farm.

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A few months ago, Bennett J Kireker read about a European agricultural company that manufactures and distributes mini-weather stations in many parts of the world, including India, Africa, and Southeast Asia. These areas are affected by heavy rains and typhoons during summer and fall, and the mini-weather stations help farmers plan their planting or harvest schedules. These weather stations are deployed in different parts of a farm or plantation; and using the local cellular network, they send out hourly weather updates to farmers in the area.

For Bennett Kireker, New York farmers can also benefit from this technology, especially during winter when cold snaps and frosts could damage crops and trees. These weather stations are a cost-efficient way of determining when to place and fire up smudge pots to protect plants from freezing over, thus preventing damage to trees and crops, and saving farmers an entire season’s worth of work.


Bennett Kireker: Social Media and Urban Agriculture

As a child, Bennett J Kireker was exposed to different aspects of agriculture. On a typical day, he would take care of the cows, check on the egg-laying hens, and tend to vegetables and fruit-bearing trees. Even if he embarked on a different career path, his heart has always belonged to the soil. Now, he is constantly looking for ways to make farming an appealing career choice for young people and professionals alike.

One way to raise awareness of urban farming is through social media networking. While most people think of social media as a pastime, it holds a lot of potential for urban farmers such as Bennett Kireker. New York City alone, for instance, is home to thousands of rooftop gardens, and even if urban farmers meet and discuss their projects from time to time, there is very little real-time sharing of garden and crop status.

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This is where startups such as Harvest Geek come in. The Harvest Geek app allows farmers to interact with each other on a regular basis. These interactions come in the form of image sharing as well as data and information crowdsourcing. This is particularly useful for those who grow niche products, such as heirloom vegetables and super-hot peppers, for which information is hard to find on normal search engines.

Other ways to take advantage of social networking include farm-to-market and farm-to-table apps, which can connect local urban farmers with retailers, restaurants, and individual consumers in the vicinity. The Internet of Things can also be used to come up with microclimate data, which can be used and processed by rooftop farmers located on the same block.

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Bennett Kireker believes that social media has the power to change the way farming is done, both on urban gardens and on larger farms located outside the city. He will closely monitor this trend and keep you informed about the latest farming technology news, so keep this page bookmarked!

Bennett Kireker: Urban Farming and the Internet of Things

Bennett J Kireker grew up in a farm in upstate New York. After a long corporate career, he decided to take up urban farming as a hobby. Today, his rooftop is filled with different vegetable plots and fruit-bearing shrubs. While he is happy about how his rooftop garden has turned out, he is constantly on the lookout for new technologies that will change the way urban farming is being done. One of these technologies, the Internet of Things, has the potential to disrupt rooftop gardening as we know it.

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One thing that impresses Bennett Kireker about New York City is the constant presence of technology. Almost everything is connected to the Internet, even the most mundane items such as coffee makers, refrigerators, and window curtains. However, this trend has yet to spread to other aspects of life in the city, including urban farming. Bennett Kireker believes that the telecom infrastructure of New York City will be of great help to residents who do urban farming part-time.

One such application of the Internet of Things is the remote monitoring of humidity and soil moisture levels in rooftop gardens. Using a network of sensors that feed data into a small server, an urban farmer will be able to track different agricultural metrics in real time through special smartphone apps. That same app may also be used to water the plants and apply fertilizer on demand even if the owner of the rooftop garden is away at work or on a trip.

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The advantages of this technology go far beyond the immediate effects on plants. Urban farmers can drill down through historical data to determine the optimum conditions for plant growth at any given point and to predict growth and microclimate patterns. Once they have decided on a plan of action, they can change the settings on the app to meet their requirements.

Remember to keep this blog bookmarked for more agriculture and farming technology news from Bennett Kireker.

Bennett Kireker: Commercial-Scale Rooftop Farming in New York

Bennett J Kireker lives in the NYC metropolitan area and has a keen interest in agriculture. The experience of growing up in a farm surrounded by food crops and farm animals has left a deep imprint upon Bennett Kireker. While New York City is now his home base, he still maintains his relationship with the soil and the things that grow on it.

As an advocate of urban farming, Bennett J Kireker visits and volunteers with numerous urban farms around the city. Even if most of these farms are community and individual initiatives, he is delighted to know that rooftop farming is starting to grow on a commercial scale. One organization that has initiated urban farming on a larger scale is Gotham Greens, which has partnered with organic food retailer Whole Foods Market to operate the first commercial-size rooftop greenhouse.

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Under the agreement, Gotham Greens will supply fresh produce to nine Whole Foods stores throughout New York City. The vegetables are organically grown, GMO-free, and have the advantage of being grown locally; thus, many of the costs associated with shipping vegetables from farm to market are slashed drastically. This also helps reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

As of 2013, Gotham Greens was building a garden on the rooftop of Whole Foods’ Brooklyn location. In addition, both parties plan to set up educational programs about urban farming, greenhouses, and agriculture targeted towards inner-city residents who would otherwise be unable to afford fresh produce.

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Bennett Kireker is particularly happy about this development as he believes that idle rooftops are a shameful waste of usable space. Aside from reducing the heat production of inner cities, rooftop gardens can also be a viable source of food and sales income for residents. He is closely monitoring the outcome of this initiative and is optimistic that it will give Brooklyn’s organic farming industry a significant boost.

Bennett Kireker: Teaching Children How to Farm in Battery Park

Bennett J Kireker is an agriculture enthusiast and an aspiring urban farmer. Hydroponics, vertical gardening, and rooftop farming are some of the topics that interest Bennett Kireker. New York City has some of the most vibrant urban farming initiatives in the country. This is brought about by two main factors: first, there is a growing demand for farm-to-table produce, both from restaurants and home chefs; second, residents are starting to recognize the vertical expansion of the city as an asset in the struggle for food security.

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Urban farmers are also using their projects to teach the next generation about food and farming. One such project, the Battery Urban Farm, was founded by a group of students from a nearby high school with help from the Battery Conservancy, which administers the park in Lower Manhattan. Since 2011, it has been visited by students from local schools all over the island and the other boroughs. It has also become a popular attraction among tourists and locals.

It is not just a working farm; it is also a teaching aid for students and other members of the community who are interested in studying and practicing agriculture. Students learn by doing – each participant is given a small plot of land where they can plant a certain crop, and they benefit from the advice of experienced urban farmers. Some of these students have gone on to running their own urban farms on their rooftops and backyards, and a few chose to study agriculture in college.

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Bennett Kireker visits the Battery Urban Farm at least once a month as a volunteer and is happy that public recreational spaces also serve another purpose as a food source and as an educational tool. Interested volunteers may visit the Battery Urban Farm on Wednesdays and one Saturday per month.

Bennett Kireker’s Predictions on Farming Tech Trends

Predicting the future has always been one of humankind’s pastime; it even goes as far back as the time of Nostradamus. Bennett Kireker here. Today, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on farming technology.

Going back to my previous statement, predicting is easy, but divining the course of technology is another matter altogether. As much as we would like to be certain, there are times that we can only predict. This does not mean that the prediction doesn’t have any basis; on the contrary, a lot of predictions are sound if based on logic and research.

The four key areas in agriculture that are gaining traction in technological advancements are: food, sensors, engineering, and automation. These areas cover all aspects from production to manufacturing to processing.

Sensors help agriculture by enabling real-time monitoring and diagnosis of crop, livestock, and farm machine states. Food can directly benefit from genetic tailoring and potentially from producing meat in a lab. Automation will help agriculture through different robotic scales to check and maintain crops at the plant level. Engineering involves technologies that extend the reach of agriculture to new means and new places.

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For sensors, we’re seeing a lot of innovations on air, soil, and crop sensors. These are at the forefront because farmers have long been the victims of unpredictable weather and unforgiving terrain. These sensors would provide a real-time understanding of current farm, forest, or body of water conditions. As for crop sensors, it will help in determining the needed amount of fertilizer for your crops instead of blindly dousing everything with the same amount. This will allow for optimum plant growth and maximized use of fertilizer products as well.

On the food front, we’re venturing into genetically designed food. GMO’s have long been in existence and the practice is not stopping. Monsanto is getting a bad rep because of their practices but if done correctly, genetic modification of certain crops can help communities in need. Imagine a community with barren land and no planting capabilities. An arid African village might even get the chance to plant rice, even with the absence of frequent rain.

Automation sees the rise of replacing human labor when it comes to harvesting, fruit picking, ploughing, soil maintenance, weeding, planting, irrigation, and other farming duties. These robots lessen the possibility of injury and human error. It may seem like the robots are after our jobs, but these tasks are best delegated to machines that will not lose a limb should you insert the wrong body part in one of the big processing machines. Accidents like that have happened way too often. This is a great way to minimize injury and maximize production.

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As for engineering advancements, we’re now in the era of needing vertical farming solutions due to our shrinking real estate. The world’s population is growing by the minute and it seems that there’s not enough land to grow the food needed to sustain the population. Luckily, some engineers have decided to look at vertical solutions for farming spaces. Vertical farms would ideally cultivate plant or animal life within dedicated or mixed-use skyscrapers in urban settings. This allows city dwellers to become farmers too.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the different farming technologies being produced. Thanks for reading my blog!

To get in touch with Bennett Kireker, please contact him directly through this site.