Is AgTech and vertical farming right for my farming operation?
AgTech, also known as AgriTech, is a rapidly growing field that involves the use of technology in agriculture. Vertical farming is one of the AgTech innovations that involves growing crops in vertically stacked layers utilising technology to precisly control the growing environment. In this article, we will explore whether vertical farming is right for your farming operation.
What is AgTech or AgriTech?
AgTech or AgriTech refers to the use of technology, innovation, and data analytics in agriculture to optimise and improve farming practices. It involves the development and deployment of new tools and technologies to address the challenges facing the agricultural sector.
It is a rapidly growing field, driven by the need to increase food production to meet the needs of a growing global population, while also addressing environmental and economic challenges. AgTech is not limited to large-scale commercial agriculture; it can also be applied to small-scale farming where it can have a significant impact on food security.
Why is AgTech important for growers?
Agriculture technology provides benefits to growers in multiple ways:
AgTech can help growers to increase profitability by improving efficiency, reducing input costs, and raising crop yields. This can be especially important for small-scale farmers who may have limited resources and face economic challenges.
It can also help to reduce input costs by providing data-driven recommendations for more efficient use of these resources. For example, precision irrigation systems can reduce water usage. Data technology can help better manage risk by providing real-time insights on factors such as weather patterns, market conditions, and crop performance.
AgTech can also help rive efficiencies by automating tasks that were previously done manually. For example, automated seed planting and harvesting can save time and reduce labour costs, while also improving accuracy and reducing waste.
By providing growers with new tools and technologies, AgTech can help to support sustainable and profitable farming practices, while also contributing to economic growth and food security.
What is indoor farming?
AgTech and indoor farming are closely linked, as many AgTech innovations are designed specifically for indoor farms.
Indoor farming involves the use of vertical farms, greenhouses and other technologies to grow crops in controlled environments, helping to reduce the impact of weather and other environmental factors on crop production.
What are vertical farms?
Vertical farming is an agricultural practice that involves growing crops in vertically stacked layers utilising technology to offer complete control over the growing environment. The controlled environment allows for year-round crop production, with growing conditions are fine-tuned to achieve the best possible growth and yield.
At IGS, our vertical farming technology offers total control over environmental factors, including lighting, water distribution, CO2 levels, and nutrient delivery. The advanced power management system ensures energy usage is optimised throughout the day and night, keeping energy costs at a minimum.
Is AgTech such as vertical farming right for me?
Whether vertical farming is right for your business depends on a variety of factors, including the type of crops you want to grow, the size of your operation, and your business goals.
Vertical indoor farming may be a suitable fit for your business if you plan to grow seed-to-harvest crops that require little space and have a short growing cycle, such as leafy greens or herbs. It could also be suitable if you intend to use vertical farming to raise starter crops or propagules and then move them onto outdoor structures such as poly tunnels or glasshouses.
Because it involves specialised equipment and technology, a vertical farm can be expensive to set up. However, the higher yield potential of vertical farming systems can vastly outweigh these expenditures in the long run.
If you’re interested in enhancing crop yield or diversifying what and when you grow, vertical indoor farming could be a fantastic option for your operations.
Who is IGS?
IGS is a multi-award-winning global company headquartered in Scotland that designs, supplies, installs and supports vertical farms for growers all over the world.
We incorporate our engineering, crop science, and agronomy expertise to create the best technology to help our customers succeed in growing high-quality, nutritious food.
Our vertical Growth Towers are 6 metres, 9 metres, and 12 metres tall. Crops are grown on six-metre-square tables called Growth Trays with lights (GTLs). Automation inside the Growth Tower moves GTLs while also providing water and nutrients.
Why should you choose an IGS vertical farm?
Our vertical farming solution uses patented technology around power, control and automation to produce a finely tuned growing environment for growing crops and plants 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our towers are essentially massive vending machines for growing crops and plants in a more efficient way. The towers can be constructed on unused urban land or adapted into existing warehouses. They can be created in remote areas where greenhouse or traditional outdoor farms are impractical due to a lack of arable land or bad weather.
Building our solution close to the point of food production, distribution, and consumption (e.g., food processing, supermarkets, and consumers) saves transportation miles and increases product shelf life, resulting in less food waste. Our vertical farms can be erected in multiples, ranging from a single tower to hundreds of towers.
Our Crop Research Centre is based at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee to promote collaborative research into sustainable agronomy and the optimisation of our production capacities for our customers.
AgTech is an important tool for growers who want to optimise their farming practices and increase profitability. Vertical farming is an innovative AgTech solution that can provide higher yields and better quality crops than more traditional methods. With the expertise and technology provided by companies like IGS, growers can achieve sustainable and profitable farming practices, while also contributing to economic growth and food security. If you want to find out more about how an IGS Growth Tower could help your business, get in touch now.