The Blossoming Potential of AI in Strawberry Production

By Tom Trush Strawberry production in the controlled environment agriculture industry is poised for a transformative shift, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence.  As one of the most popular fruits globally, strawberries present unique challenges for commercial growers. Among the greatest is the ability to consistently produce high enough yields to be profitable. Key reasons […]

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Can Vertical Farms be Profitable Using LED Grow Lights?

Bruce Bugbee, professor of crop physiology at Utah State University, refers to the exclusive use of LEDs in closed indoor farms as electric light agriculture. He said no matter how efficient LEDs become, they are still competing with free photons from the sun. Photo by John Frey While controlled environment agriculture continues to expand, there […]

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Does Quality Matter? If So, Prove It.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. We all know brands with products and services that represent quality. But have you ever been the person responsible for selling quality? For earning the premium price associated with producing quality products?   Since my first job in 1996, every company I worked for, represented or […]

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Looking for reliable labor?

The current political climate in Washington, D.C., is not conducive for broad-based immigration, labor and workforce reform, which could help the horticulture and agricultural industries resolve worker shortages. The H-2A agricultural guest worker program may be an option—but it’s going to cost you. During the AmericanHort Impact Washington Summit in September, over 120 people from […]

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The Biggest Challenge for CEA, LABOR

In July 2023, I posted the article The 2023 Controlled Environment Agriculture Market – How Are We Evolving? After fielding several questions and comments from industry professionals who I really respect, I feel the need for one (maybe two) follow-up articles.  This article is first because I firmly believe labor is the biggest challenge we […]

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Where can you get accurate information about indoor farm production?

One of the major objectives of OptimIA project researchers was to establish an outreach program to engage with stakeholders in the indoor vertical farming community. Photo courtesy of Chris Higgins, Hort Americas OptimIA project members are sharing their indoor farm research findings with the controlled environment agriculture industry and the public through a variety of […]

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NC State’s Collado and Hernandez Research Cannabis Water Use Under Supplemental Light

North Carolina State University researchers Professor Ricardo Hernandez and Cristian Collado worked with Current’s Arize® Element L1000 LED top lighting in a greenhouse setting to explore the impact of light levels on the production of cuttings, plant growth, flower production, quality, and water use of a cannabis sativa variety commonly cultivated for its high levels […]

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How can modeling help to grow a better indoor farm lettuce crop?

Research conducted in the University of Arizona UAg vertical farm using modeling and computer simulations showed vertical air flow compared to horizontal air flow was more effective at preventing lettuce tipburn. Photo courtesy of Murat Kacira, Univ. of Ariz. OptimIA researchers are using crop modeling to identify the most favorable environmental parameters for growth and […]

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The 2023 Controlled Environment Agriculture Market – How are we evolving?

Photo: AppHarvest, Somerset Kentucky The U.S. controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry received lots of publicity over the past 10 years. From interviews on CNBC to articles in Forbes, investors and the general business community found interest in an industry that seemed new despite the fact that it was anything but.   (If you are interested in […]

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Can leafy greens be profitably grown in indoor farms?

OptimIA economic researchers determined on average, a 1 percent increase in wages would reduce an indoor farm’s profit per square meter for a day of production by 6 cents. A 1 percent increase in the price of electricity would reduce profits by 5 cents per square meter per day. Photo courtesy of Murat Kacira, Univ. […]

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How can you manipulate the environment to improve leafy greens production?

Roberto Lopez, an OptimIA project researcher and Michigan State University horticulture professor, is studying how environmental parameters can impact plant growth, quality, yield and morphology of controlled environment crops. Photo courtesy of Roberto Lopez, Mich. St. Univ. OptimIA researchers are studying how the environment can be manipulated to improve crop quality, increase yields and change […]

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How do you overcome the environmental challenges of indoor farming?

Lettuce being grown as baby greens at Purdue University are harvested 15 days after planting seeds. Seeds are sown close together to minimize loss of photons between plants. Photo courtesy of Cary Mitchell, Purdue Univ. Researchers with the OptimIA project are working to solve the environmental control issues facing indoor farm growers. While some might […]

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The Case for Standardizing Reporting and Benchmarking Yield in CEA Facilities

By Jenn Frymark and Charu Sharma The Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry is growing rapidly, driven by the increasing demand for fresh, sustainable and locally grown produce globally. As the industry continues to evolve and adopt new technologies, it is essential to standardize reporting metrics. This not only will improve the overall industry output by […]

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What impact does light have on controlled environment leafy greens production?

Researchers at Michigan State University have used the Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory to study the effects of different colors of light on the growth of leafy greens. Photo courtesy of Erik Runkle, Mich. St. Univ. OptimIA researchers are studying the impact light and its interaction with other environmental parameters can have on indoor leafy greens production. […]

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