The Consumer Electronic Show 2024 has wrapped up, and quite a few unique announcements occurred in the food and agricultural category. This category is always dominated by John Deere’s showcases, and in past years, they’ve won Innovation Awards for the John Deere autonomous tractor, a self-driving tractor with GPS, and the See & Spray, a crop sprayer. Both are arm implements with artificial intelligence built in.
This year John Deere theme was ‘From Dirt to Shirt,” and they showcased different business models including the possibility of pay as you go so all farmers can spread out payments and access John Deere smart technology for use on their farm. There are also solutions as service, a concept that lets farmers pay for only the tech they plan on using.
Beyond John Deere, the Consumer Electronic Show’s farm and agricultural category had a few smaller brands who also won Innovation Awards this year. Could they eventually be as dominant as John Deere in the category? You never know. Here’s a look at a few of the biggest announcements at the Consumer Electronic Show 2024.
Some hobby farms are 10, 20 or more acres, so the idea of farming in a small, contained space might seem a bit odd. But there are a lot of uses for a small farm space in urban areas, and it’s even better if that farm is inflatable.
AirFarm, the world’s first inflatable farm, is made up of air-inflated seed beds, and it only takes half a day to set it up. One of the reasons the company won an innovation award is because of how the system can slash water use by 99% over traditional farm use. It uses a reciprocal system that converts moisture in the air into water and then recirculates that moisture back to the roots of the plants. The AirFarm is also a lightweight, easily movable system you can set up virtually anywhere.
Not everyone may want an AirFarm, but a MineFarm is something most hobby farmers could make use of. The MineFarm Showcase looks like a small refrigerator, but it’s an indoor growing system with artificial intelligence. It can manage water, light, and the growth cycle, and it will use the data it collects to learn how to best grow your specific plant. There are a lot of different seeds you can grow in Minefarm, and setting up your plants is as easy as scanning a QR code on one of Minefarm’s Seedkits.
Minefarm could be a helpful addition to a hobby farm because you could use it to start seedlings indoors. Not all seedlings thrive, and Minefarm may be able to analyze why some seeds do better than others on your farm.
Most indoor hydroponic gardens grow small plants like microgreens. Rise Roma, a winner of the CES Innovation award, can think bigger. It’s able to grow large plants including tomatoes, egg plants, or small dwarf trees. It can grow plants or trees up to 38 inches in height, has a modular design so you can put a few together, and you can also grow small plants like spinach or lettuce.
Rise Roma is app controlled and monitored, so anytime you want to check and see how healthy your plants are, all you have to do is open the app. With a circular water system and a large water tank, you can save on water too.