Let’s face it. The future of present-day agriculture is in vertical farming. Vertical farming is growing plants in layers that are vertically stacked. It embraces managed- environment agriculture, which focuses on optimizing plants’ growth and soilless farming methods such as aeroponics, hydroponics, and aquaponics.
Some familiar structures used to do vertical farming are shipping containers, buildings, abandoned mine shafts, and tunnels.
Why Vertical Farming Is Successful
Vertical farming is becoming hugely successful because of readily available places that can be used to house it, as mentioned above, and vertical grow lights innovation.
Regardless of where they grow, we all know that plants need light to manufacture their food in the process known as photosynthesis, without which they can’t grow.
When practicing vertical farming, you need to grow lights to produce artificial light, which is often an electric light, created to revitalize plants’ growth by releasing an electromagnetic spectrum suitable for photosynthesis.
Grow lights are also used in instances where natural light is lacking, or if you need additional light; as in throughout winter months, additional light might be required to give the plants more hours of light to maximize their growth.
Though vertical farming can be an expensive venture, with well thought out strategies and consideration of tradeoffs and all variables involved, it’s possible to operate a highly lucrative vertical farming business.
Here are the advantages of Vertical farming.
Dependable Crop Production throughout the year.
Vertical farming doesn’t depend on the weather. This means that you can produce crops without worrying about adverse weather conditions, which impact the profiling and quality of yield and production.
Farming in a well-monitored, protected environment gives farmers peace of mind and assurance. They never have to worry about things beyond their control, such as crop failure due to floods or drought.
Growers don’t worry about drought or pests that wreak havoc on their crops. Once the growers plant the crops, they are guaranteed of a bumper harvest.
Seasonal crops have also become a thing of the past. Vertical farming lowers harvest time and upgrade volume without trading off the quality or flavor, which remains consistent.
For this reason, commercial growers can confidently pledge to the delivery schedule and draw off agreements that their customers demand.
Lower transport cost
In food production, one of the most expensive parts of the supply chain is the last-mile delivery. It is normal for food to be shipped over oceans and continents.
Growing crops near where consumers live is a big advantage because it massively reduces the emission of carbon dioxide, cuts down on transportation cost, and in some cases, lower the need for storing the food in the refrigerator.
Vertical farming also lowers the chances of food contamination during transportation because the food is delivered to consumers who live near the growers.
Low labor costs
Labor is very expensive and claims a cost of 27% to 40% of the total production cost in vertical farming. The cost involves paying for conventional manual labor such as packaging, pruning, picking, and exceedingly skilled work.
By establishing robotics and automation, farmers cut down on labor costs and greatly improve efficiency.
Also, automation gives a chance to allot time differently, spend little time performing highly repetitive tasks, and allow more time to enhance the industry.
With automation, labor costs will always remain low even if there is an increase in production.
No Pesticides or chemicals
Growing crops in a vertical farm, when properly managed, gives a chance fully eliminate the requirement for pesticides because pests can’t access the managed environment to damage the crops. Fungal diseases also have a minimal chance of getting to the crops and harming them as the humidity level is under control.
The final results are healthier, safer, better products that are ready and clean to consume. Vertical farming is very friendly to the environment as it lowers the need to use fossil fuels required for farming equipment needed for sowing, weeding, and harvesting plants.