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Is vertical farming the future of agriculture? Growing safe and healthy food in our increasingly changing environment is a challenge for the horticultural sector.
Vertical farming systems enables growers to grow their crops in a controlled and monitored environment providing an alternative approach to the more conventional methods of farming. Vertical farming technology can be used in a variety of applications including urban farms, shipping containers, LED Test Grow Laboratories, warehouses and growth chambers.
By using a hydroponic system plant growth is optimised using an ultra-low voltage LED lighting system, environmental controls, ventilation, and irrigation which can be fine-tuned depending on crop stage while a state-of-the art climate control system makes it possible to change temperature, humidity, and air flow. All the systems are controlled and monitored centrally from a purpose-built growing App, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Indoor Vertical Farms:
Indoor vertical farms are free from variations in our weather, isolated from pests, no harmful pesticides allowing crops to grow at a wider range of latitudes. Developing indoor vertical farms requires an understanding of all the individual requirements each crop plant will need for optimal growth and development.
Vertical hydroponic farming systems helps to maximise space for better performance, reducing production costs and carbon emissions. Improving crop growth, increasing both yield and food security. Vertical farming is a more productive and sustainable method to grow a variety of crops, using considerably less water than traditional agriculture which helps to optimise growth conditions and irrigation cycles to promote uniform crop growth.
Key Benefits of Vertical Farming Systems:
• A fully automated and monitored growing environment, 24/7.
• A hydroponic system minimises water usage.
• Maximising space while improving growing cycles and yields.
• Energy demand is reduced by up to 70 percent.
• Ability to adjust light recipes and environments based on the individual requirements of each plant.
• No pesticides required in line with public sentiment, increasing food security.
• Reduced air miles.
The Vertical farming growing system is dynamic and flexible and provides growers with an automated and closed environment in which a variety of crops can be stacked in multi-tiered layers in ultra-low energy urban farms, nutrients can be recycled, and pests can be controlled. Allowing for changes to be made to the growing environment during and between cropping cycles, improves all year-round growth and consistency of crop cycles in vertical farms. This provides safe, healthy and reliable yields during and outside the more traditional growing seasons, which allows rapid responses to changing market dynamics.
Circadian Rhythm in Vertical Farms:
Circadian rhythms play an important role in regulating crop production in vertical farms, day and night conditions can be controlled by the grower. However, the performance of the crop under artificially controlled conditions is ultimately determined by the genetics of the crop, which affect how it responds to its growing environment.
By understanding the interaction between the circadian clock of suitable crops and artificial growing environments in vertical farming is a valuable step to boosting productivity while reducing costs, innovative vertical farming technologies will help to improve the sustainability of future agriculture for the horticulture sector.
By implementing an ultra-low energy horticulture LED lighting system not only reduces running costs but also the cost of energy generation as these installations can be electricity demand limited and tend to install and run their own power plant. With the combined ability to incorporate solar power and battery technology, makes this an amazing growing solution for modern agriculture.