Can vertical farming be a viable method of controlled environment production?

Austin Webb, co-founder and CEO at Fifth Season, said even though significant dollars have been invested in vertical farming, much of it has been wasted. Photos courtesy of Fifth Season Fifth Season is using its fully-integrated, automated operating system to crack the economics code for vertical farming with the potential to integrate with greenhouse operations. […]

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Chris Higgins environmental movement

Who should lead the environmental movement?

Photo: Our decisions today affect our planet tomorrow.  Protect what you love, whether that be work or play. Simple answer, those with the most passion and perseverance. As the controlled environment agriculture industry we spend a significant amount of time discussing how we are going to improve our communities, the environment, the farming experience and the […]

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Is controlled environment agriculture addressing the issues facing the agriculture industry?

BrightFarms founder and president Paul Lightfoot, who is chairman of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, said controlled environment agriculture could play a major role in helping to solve some of the significant issues facing the ag industry and U.S. Photos courtesy of BrightFarms As chairman of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry […]

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Could controlled environment agriculture change the face of American farming?

Ramel Bradley thinks so. The community director at AppHarvest is talking to students and communities across the country about the benefits of locally-grown food and the agtech used to produce it. [Photo above: Ramel with students and faculty from Breathitt High School in Jackson, Ky. on Jan. 15 at the opening of the school’s new […]

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Which type of hydroponic system is better?

Hint: They are all just irrigation systems. One of the questions that I get most frequently is, “Which hydroponic system is the best?” I am fairly sure that my standard answer of, “it all depends” annoys most of the people I am speaking to.  From suppliers to growers and from researchers to hobbyists there is […]

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Tips on managing disease in your hydroponic system

Understanding the 3 options to manage root born disease issues. Fortunately and unfortunately there are so many ways to manage pathogens in a hydroponic nutrient solution. Having options is great but these options can be difficult to navigate for new growers. Hopefully this overview comparing three popular management styles makes it easier to understand the […]

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What’s driving hydroponic lettuce breeding?

BASF Vegetable Seeds is developing lettuce varieties that can be grown in controlled environment facilities using supplemental lights. Leafy greens, including lettuce, are the hottest crop when it comes to controlled environment vegetable production. It seems like every month a new greenhouse or vertical farm facility begins operating or an existing operation expands with increased […]

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Important Tips for Designing a Hydroponic Production Facility

Why do you keep saying buffer capacity? For anyone that has called me to discuss the design of their new vertical farm or greenhouse, they have probably grown quickly tired of me using the term buffer capacity.  But, of everything I have learned over the past 25 years, the understanding of “buffer capacity” might possibly […]

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Running a for-profit business with a not-for-profit mission

Vertical Harvest is using controlled environment agriculture to give people with disabilities the opportunity to improve their livelihoods along with the sustainability and economies of their communities. Jackson, Wyo., might not be the first place you think of when it comes to innovation in controlled environment agriculture. Vertical Harvest, which began operating in 2016, produces […]

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Irrigation De-Mistified

By Godfrey Dol It is said that managing irrigation is a bit like being married. No matter how hard you try, you never do it right. But it is because we try that we succeed in having a happy marriage. Plants need water and fertilizer to grow. In the hi-tech glasshouse industry, we apply both […]

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What will AppHarvest bring to Appalachia, the U.S.?

AppHarvest is building a 60-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in Eastern Kentucky that looks to resolve some of the major issues facing traditional field agriculture. Jonathan Webb, founder and CEO of AppHarvest in Morehead, Ky., is a big believer in controlled environment agriculture. How big? His company is constructing a 60-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in Eastern […]

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Why does greenhouse equipment need to be simple?

By Chris Higgins What is the number one thing to look for in commercial horticulture and agriculture equipment? Simplicity. Simple well engineered commercial horticulture equipment performs best. Regardless of the product or the product category the best selling and most successfully used products are easy to learn, easy to use and easy to fix.  But, this […]

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When will artificial intelligence come to the commercial greenhouse industry?

Developing the right information infrastructure could result in autonomous greenhouses that generate higher profits and yields and lower operational costs. Watching news reports on the COVID-19 pandemic one quickly realizes the importance accurate data plays in our everyday lives. Most industries are data-driven, whether this data relates to business management or specific production-related operations. For […]

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How will you ensure that your small business survives both COVID-19 and the post COVID-19 economy?

By Chris Higgins Over the past few months I have watched many small farmers who were solely focused on servicing the food service and restaurant industry change simply to stay alive.  I have been amazed and impressed by their conviction and ability to create new opportunities to survive.  Their actions have inspired me to share […]

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