Currently, we have over 7 billion people living on our planet. This number is estimated to continue to grow with no signs of slowing down. If you’re in the food sector, you’re probably aware of the growing food needs of this population. How do we keep up with the demand, while also protecting and respecting our planet? The answer comes from looking into Controlled Environment Agriculture options, understanding ideas outside of the standard agricultural methods that may need to become implemented.
Vertical farming, sometimes called indoor or urban farming, refers to producing food in an indoor environment – using layers of plants to maximize space while controlling factors such as humidity, light, water, temperature and nutrients with the help of equipment like LED grow lights (you can check this out to find out more about these lights). Indoor vertical farming stacks can produce higher yields while using less water and soil, compared to traditional agriculture. Some people are considering combining this with other options, such as hydroponics, which in turn could save on soil. For now, however, having it in the process yields better and more consistent results. While elements of this can be seen in Commercial Greenhouses, this method appears to be the next step in the farming world. To recap, the main key takeaways from vertical farming can be seen below for ease of access and understanding.
Use 95% less water than traditional agriculture
Can save on CO2 emissions, as they can be used anywhere regardless of weather conditions
Reduce the number of “food miles” associated with growing crops
Can produce as much as 20 times more lettuce compared to an agricultural field
Produce a per-acre average yield of vine crops that is 10 times higher compared to outdoor farms
Can reduce labor costs by using robotics and conveyors
For ways to optimize your vertical farming system, continue reading the infographic below: