As we explore the future of Vertical Farming and how it is reshaping the rules of agriculture, we are excited by the findings. Vertical Farming technology can combat poor land conditions and challenging weather events, leading to better food security – now that’s exciting!
What is Vertical Farming?
Vertical Farming is the practice of growing produce in a controlled environment e.g. vertically stacked in layers. Design, development and testing of this growing system is ongoing, but the return on investment is encouraging and PrimeHort now offer competitively-priced kitset turnkey solutions for its customers.
One of the early pioneers in Vertical Farming is Greengrower based in Hamilton. Greengrower started commercially growing in December 2022 and said the leafy greens grew at twice the rate in a controlled environment compared to traditional production. Greengrower has received $3.5 million in public funding from MPI for research in the wake of the recent devastating climatic events. So it shows just how strong the appetite is for ongoing R&D in this innovative growing space.
PrimeHort recently visited a fully vertical growing system in Italy and was inspired by the potential merit for New Zealand Growers of leafy vegetables, herbs and berries. After the initial investment, the benefits are compelling:
- RELIABLE HARVESTS – There are no seasonal crops or major crop losses. Growers have certainty around committing to delivery schedules.
- INCREASED CROP YIELDS – Fitting more per m2 into the same space, with protection from the elements will lead to stronger crop yields when compared to traditional farming methods.
- FLEXIBLE SET UP – providing there is town water supply and access to power, Vertical Farming can be operated from anywhere.
- FOOD SECURITY – with less chance of contamination from pollutants, pests and disease, there is greater food security.
- YEAR-ROUND CROP PRODUCTION – the controlled environment from weather or seasonal challenges allows for consistent, year-round crop production. Growing under LED lighting replaces the need for sunshine.
- ORGANIC QUALITY – the ability to grow without pesticides, herbicides or having to wash the produce makes it highly organic with stronger economic potential for growers.
- LONGER SHELF LIFE – better crop quality should mean longer shelf life for produce.
- LESS WATER USAGE – compared to traditional farming methods, Vertical Farming systems will use far less water because of their advanced irrigation and recirculation systems – reducing water waste. Great for drought-prone crops.
- KITSET & MODULAR – PrimeHort can deliver the components ready to assemble, or can provide a cost-effective installation and staff training service.
- REPURPOSE VACANT BUILDINGS – Vertical Farming can be a viable option for a vacant warehouse, easily converting it to a productive and sustainable business.
Talk to the team at PrimeHort about a kitset turnkey solution for Vertical Farming – we are ready to help.
CASE STUDY | PRIMEHORT VISTED A VERTICAL FARM IN ITALY IN JANUARY 2023.
As a basic description, this once vacant warehouse is now set up with floor-to-ceiling pallet racked benching. Each rack has its own LED lighting system. A robot supplies the trays to the benches, then collects each tray and puts them onto the cutting line. The cutting line cuts and separates the greens to be automatically bagged, boxed and pallet wrapped – fully ready for market. The tray is then taken to a washing/steriliser machine and back to the seeding line for the process to repeat (approx. 21-day cycle).