Automated cultivation poised to be a solution for supply chain of the future

Thanks to automation technology, mobile vertical farming solutions such as GreenBox or iFarm deliver fresh and locally grown salads, herbs, or root vegetables all year round under all climatic conditions. In this way, they expand the possibilities of crop cultivation and bring food production to densely populated urban areas – and they do this with less water and fertilizer than conventional field cultivation. This also applies to Bustanica. The world’s largest vertical farm, located near Dubai on the Arabian Peninsula, supplies about three tonnes of leafy vegetables per day to a catering company serving more than 100 airlines. For this purpose, the plants are grown in several tiers on top of each other. To monitor growth holistically, many measurement variables must be captured with powerful technology. The key to this is digitalization.

Sensors for irrigation and nutrient injection
Indoor systems provide a fully controllable environment unaffected by weather, where all desired climate conditions can be continuously monitored and optimized. In order for the closed cultivation systems to realize their full potential, they need automation systems that combine intelligent controls and sensors. These can be found in mid-November at the “Inhouse Farming – Feed & Food Show” in Hanover. With the theme of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), including vertical farms, container farms, aeroponics, and aquaculture, the new DLG platform as part of Agritechnica will combine all aspects of indoor farming and link these to the ideas of precision farming. “The focus of interest is increasingly on process control and data acquisition, which are becoming more and more complex in closed cultivation systems,” confirms Marcus Vagt, DLG Division Manager Energy, Inhouse Farming and New Foods.


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