Monday, August 18, 2008

Silicon Valley Technology Returns to Its Greentech Agricultural Roots

From Greentech Media's Green Light blog:

Thomas Atwood doesn’t look like a farmer (in fact he’s more of a database jockey) but as a board member and the interim President at PureSense, he’s guiding a company that directly helps farmers in a crucial way – monitoring and managing their water usage. I spoke with him in Menlo Park last week in a decidedly non-pastoral setting.

California has a $19 billion agricultural market according to Atwood, $6 billion from almonds and grapes alone. (Other less regulated California crops account for even more than that.) Almonds are a thirsty crop, requiring 48 inches of water per year. This year in California, water shortages, natural and man-made will cost farmers $160 million. (The wisdom of growing thirsty crops in arid regions is fodder for another story.) ...MORE