How is OptimIA helping vertical farms grow more efficiently and economically?

The OptimIA project, which was funded by USDA in Sept. 2019, is focused on the study of the aerial environment and economics for producing indoor leafy greens. Photo by Rosemary Brandt, College of Ag and Life Sciences, Univ. of Ariz. OptimIA is a research and outreach project aimed at offering production and economic information that […]

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How important is the root zone environment in controlled environment hydroponic production?

As the water moves though a nutrient film technique (NFT) production system it is near saturation with oxygen because of mechanical aeration that is occurring from the water recirculation. Photo courtesy of Hort Americas The oxygen level and temperature in the root zone can have a major impact on rate of plant growth and inhibiting […]

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What technological advancements are being made in controlled environment agriculture?

During the International Meeting on Controlled Environment Technology and Use, Chris Higgins (left), president at Hort Americas, moderated a panel discussion on Indoor Agriculture Economic Viability. Photo courtesy of Hort Americas The International Meeting on Controlled Environment Technology and Use gave representatives from academia and the CEA industry an opportunity to discuss the advancements and […]

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How did Big Tex Urban Farms use hydroponics to achieve its Million Servings Mission?

Drew Demler, the State Fair of Texas director of horticulture and cofounder of Big Tex Urban Farms, and his staff were able to achieve the farm’s Million Servings Mission ahead of schedule using a variety of controlled environment hydroponic production systems. Photos by Jessie Wood, State Fair of Texas Big Tex Urban Farms announced in […]

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What is the “best” grow light for your controlled environment operation?

Growers who replace incandescent bulbs with screw-in LEDs to control photoperiod can reduce their energy consumption by as much as 85 percent. The LED bulbs could last up to 30 years. Photo courtesy of Southwest Perennials Depending on whether you are looking to control photoperiod or increase plant growth will determine the grow lights you […]

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Greenhouse Vegetable Production Is All About Balance

Greenhouse and Vertical Farm Vegetable Production Is All About Balance. Ever wonder what’s the difference between a good grower and a great grower? I recently made a post on Linkedin that brought out some amazing comments from professional growers. It also highlighted the fact that those new to our industry do not understand the terminology […]

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What are your substrate options for containerized vegetable production?

The amount of leachate from cucumber plants grown in Dutch buckets can be significantly reduced with plant-based substrates when compared to perlite.Photos courtesy of Uttara Samarakoon, Ohio St. Univ., CFAES Wooster Growers using containers to produce vegetable crops have options when it comes to growing in plant-based substrates. Small- to medium-size growers of vining vegetable […]

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Have you considered growing greenhouse vegetables for a high-end clientele?

Serge Boon, founder of Boon Greenhouse Consultancy, said growers who are interested in selling to a high-end clientele, including resorts, restaurants and individuals, need to be able to offer exceptional quality produce. Photos courtesy of Brush Creek Ranch An increasing number of upscale resorts, restaurants and affluent individuals have begun operating their own greenhouses to […]

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Trying to find enough greenhouse vegetable workers? You’re not alone.

Jose “Pepe” Calderon, head grower at Local Bounti, said finding people willing to produce greenhouse vegetables has become complicated because crops like tomatoes require skilled workers to perform some production activities. As in other industries, greenhouse vegetable operators are facing challenges finding enough skilled workers to produce their crops. Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, employers […]

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3rd Generation Farmer Shares His Thoughts on Next Generation AgTech and Greenhouse Vegetable Production

Chris Higgins and Michael Del Ciancio discuss the importance of ag-tech in shaping the next generation of family farms.  Urban Ag News is extremely grateful that Michael Del Ciancio of DC Farms based in Ruthven Ontario, Canada, has agreed to discuss his thoughts on new ag-tech trends with us.  A third- generation farmer, Michael grew […]

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Pro-Tip Number 1: Measure these 9 items.

When you know the 9 cardinal parameters of plant science, you’re able to smell a fraud. The best in the industry know that no one item determines successful plant production. Instead, they look to the 9 Cardinal Parameters of Plant Science:  Light Learn more with Dr Ricardo Hernandez and the Farmer Tyler:  https://urbanagnews.com/blog/light-quality-with-farmer-tyler-and-dr-ricardo-hernandez/ Temperature Learn […]

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Expect vertical farming to continue to gain credibility as a reliable food source

Dr. Murat Kacira, director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona, said the ultimate goal in any type of controlled environment production, including vertical farming, is resource-use efficiency. Photo by Rosemary Brandt, College of Agricultural Life Sciences, Univ. of Ariz. Vertical farm advancements in technology and plant genetics will lead to […]

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You know what a greenhouse and vertical farm are, but what is controlled environment agriculture (CEA)?

Cornell University Explains CEA. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices. CEA techniques are not simpler than older systems for growing plants. Indeed, they demand sound knowledge of chemistry, horticulture, engineering, plant physiology, plant pathology, computers and entomology. […]

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Hunting for Treasure on the Farm

Strategically manage resources for greenhouse and indoor cultivation By Gretchen Schimelpfenig, PE, Jennifer Amann Food production is responsible for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Crop cultivation and supply chain processes require energy and generate associated carbon emissions. Greenhouses and vertical farms use diverse sources of energy like electricity, natural gas, propane, […]

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