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Skyscraper Farm Raises Farming to a Higher Level

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The future of farming is on the rise. A new type of vertical farming is being introduced to the United States in the form of a skyscraper. Skyscraper Farms are 52 story green houses that produce food in a controlled environment as well as be a space for offices, retail and real estate.

The world's leading vertical farming economist and founder of Skyscraper Farms Nick Starling said the vertical farm will bring farm food to the table even faster.

"Our goal is to have farm to table in less than five hours for anybody living within 75 miles of our full sized skyscraper," Starling said.

Starling also plans to build 40 foot grow-only buildings that, just like the skyscraper, grow food in a controlled environment with zero pesticides and fungicides.

Another problem Starling hopes to help stop with the Skyscraper Farm is wasting water.

"Currently 80% of the world's fresh water is used on agriculture and with a global yield of about 50% that means a full 40% of the world's fresh water is used on agriculture that doesn't even make it to harvest," Starling said.

Starling said Skyscraper Farms use 99% less water than field farming.

"So that means all these developing countries and all these cities will have a lot more water for people to drink, to wash their clothes and other public health necessities, Starling said.

Plans to build the 52 story Skyscraper Farms are in development in several cities across the country but Starling hopes to build the 40 foot grow-only farms in rural areas across America by next summer.

Nick Starling is holding a presentation on the Skyscraper Farm at 7 A.M. on Thursday as a part of the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogues.