However, it is important to expound on a few of the points made in the article about vertical farming, as quoted below:
“A new type of agriculture is growing. Vertical farms grow plants on trays stacked in a closed, controlled environment. Efficient led lighting has made the process cheaper, though energy costs remain a burden. Vertical farms can be located close to customers, reducing transport costs and emissions. Water use is minimised and bugs are kept out, so no pesticides are needed.”
Growing plants on trays stacked in a closed, controlled environment makes the process sound rather static. In reality, the trays, or gutters as they are referred to in the industry, are circulated through the system as they grow. In our Vera systems, this is automated according to the stage of growth of the plant.
LED lighting has not only made controlled environment growing cheaper, due to reduced energy consumption, but it has also allowed us to stimulate and control plant growth with incredible precision thanks to the controlled use of the far-red spectrum.
Energy costs are reduced by over 60% compared to traditional greenhouse growing by capturing the heat and recycling it back into the system. The energy burden can be reduced further when solar energy is used to power the vertical farm.
Our Vera vertical farms reduce freshwater use by a staggering 99.4% compared to open-field agriculture by capturing respired water vapor and recycling it back into the irrigation system.
Hyperlocal and hyper fresh food is made possible by building vertical farms next to the stores they supply, or in some cases by growing the plants in the store itself. Our In-store cabinets allow consumers to buy products that have been grown quite literally in the store.
And finally, not only are bugs kept out with the encapsulation system that surrounds the vertical farm, but the weather is kept out too. This ensures that plants can grow to their genetic maximum without disturbances from pests or sudden extreme weather conditions.
The Economist is right – vertical farming is most definitely worth watching in 2022.
You can read the original article in full here: https://buff.ly/3EYJHLS