Vertical farming (VF) is a newer crop production practice that is attracting attention from all around the world. VF is defined as growing indoor crops on multiple layers, either on the same floor or on multiple stories. Most VF operations are located in urban environments, substantially reducing the distance between producer and consumer.
Some people claim that VF is the beginning of a new era in controlled environment agriculture, with the potential to substantially increase resource-use efficiencies. However, since most vertical farms exclusively use electric lighting to grow crops, the energy input for VF is typically very high. Additional challenges include finding and converting growing space, constructing growing systems, maintaining equipment, selecting suitable plant species, maintaining a disease- and pest-free environment, attracting and training workers, optimizing the control of environmental parameters, managing data-driven decision making, and marketing.
The objective of the paper is to highlight several of the challenges and issues associated with planning and operating a successful vertical farm. Industry-specific information and knowledge will help investors and growers make informed decisions about financing and operating a vertical farm.
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Lubna, F.A.; Lewus, D.C.; Shelford, T.J.; Both, A.-J. What You May Not Realize about Vertical Farming. Horticulturae 2022, 8, 322. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8040322