A quick guide to vertical farming

"Different scientific disciplines show interest in research on vertical farming. This is great as this is urgently needed to make vertical farming successful," shared Leo Marcelis, Professor of Horticulture and Product Physiology at Wageningen UR.

In this 'Quick guide to vertical farming' by Yongran Ji, Paul Kusuma and Leo Marcelis discuss all elements that are involved with vertical farming and are elaborated on shortly.

Adding onto that, the common types of vertical farming are described, which are split up into four categories: container farms, stack layers, vertically oriented grow towers, or modular farms with isolated modules that have individual climate control.

To compare, the contrasts between traditional farming vs vertical farming will be discussed, which is explained as 'in contrast to traditional agriculture, vertical farming stands at the nexus of plant science, data science, sensor development, automation, artificial intelligence, logistics, internet-of-things, and architecture'.

Following the introduction, the researchers will discuss the sustainability of the farming practices, which methods are most appropriate to use and where, what is grown inside and most importantly, what future research is needed for the future of vertical farming.

Closing the research, it is highlighted that vertical farming is unlikely to replace traditional agriculture. Mainly because the solar energy that powers photosynthesis in most agriculture is a free renewable resource. That said, vertical farming will continue to create nutritious, high-value fresh food around cities, especially where local climates make traditional agriculture difficult. Future water shortages may increase the demand for vertical farming despite the high energy consumption. Doubtless, the coming years will see increased integration of vertical farming into the broader agricultural landscape as more growers find uses for this new technology.

Click here to access the entire research.

For more information:
Leo Marcelis, Professor of Horticulture and Product Physiology
Wageningen University & Research

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