“Vertical farming is a fairly new industry, so we all have to work together to find the solutions that will work for our customers, crops and business models”, says Luca Travaglini, co-CEO and co-founder of Planet Farms. In this guest article, Luca shares his story to help other vertical farmers succeed.
In a few decades, indoor city farms or vertical farms have become popular for producing healthy food year-round in urban environments and harsh climates. Leafy greens and herbs are the most common crops in these facilities, but growers are looking to expand to a much wider variety of vegetables and fruits. In April 2019, we began a long-term series of research studies on high-wire tomatoes at our Philips GrowWise Center. Our goal? Find the optimal high-wire cultivation strategy, light recipe and best performing tomato varieties for city farms.
If you’re interested in learning how LED lighting, specifically, dynamic LED lighting, is changing the horticulture industry, you’ll want to check in with Signify at 2019 Indoor Ag-Con in Las Vegas, May 22-24.
It’s widely recognized that vertical farming has many advantages over traditional crop-growing methods. Simply put, despite relatively high setup and operational costs, the production per unit of growth area in vertical farms easily exceeds that in the most advanced greenhouses. But to consistently hit this level of production, you need to ensure growth conditions are continuously at their best. This is where sensors and data play a pivotal role, and why they’re ready to transform the future of vertical farming.
Produce is everywhere. But finding the right sales channel for your produce can be challenging. Like many countries, the food distribution system in the U.S. is complex with many players. Creating your product is only half of the battle; the next step is to distribute and market it. This goes double for vertical farms or city farms who are trying to market a novel product to a narrow segment of consumers within the fiercely competitive produce market.
This is part two of our series of articles on how LED grow lights can influence nitrate levels in leafy greens. There are advocates on both sides of the issue. Some people want to lower nitrate levels in vegetables, while others want to raise them. Philips Lighting Research, HAS School for Agriculture and Wageningen University carried out three simultaneous trials and discovered they could decrease or increase nitrate levels in the plants.
There is an ongoing discussion about whether nitrates in food are good or bad for people’s health. Some want lower nitrate levels in vegetables, while others believe in the nutritional value of higher nitrate levels. Whatever side of the issue you are on, you may be interested in some new results from Philips Lighting Research, HAS School for Agriculture and Wageningen University. By growing leafy greens under LED grow lights in an indoor vertical growing environment, researchers discovered they could decrease or increase nitrate levels in the plants.
As LED lighting has become more and more popular among growers, LED lighting technology has been rapidly evolving to meet their needs. Luminaires have become more powerful, efficient and versatile. Now they are getting even smarter! At Signify’s GrowWise research facility, we have been experimenting with a color controllable luminaire, which provides a whole new level of lighting flexibility for indoor farming facilities. The GreenPower LED production module 3.0 allows you to control both the color spectra and light levels to create so-called dynamic light recipes. At GrowWise, we have been carrying out extensive research with these dynamic light recipes and would like to share 4 remarkable results we have seen.
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Learn more about LED lighting in horticulture by reading our latest articles and case studies.