How does the IGS system compare to growing in other indoor environments, such as glasshouses?
We adopt the principles of Total Control Environment Agriculture (TCEA), in which all aspects of the growing environment can be controlled- light, temperature, humidity, irrigation, nutrition and even air composition. This makes it possible to eliminate variations in the growing environment, enabling growers to produce consistent, high quality crops all year round. Our system also offers control over plant disease and eliminates the need for pesticides, fungicides and biocides, which is not the case with glasshouse growing.
There is the potential for far greater yields in our system compared to growing in green houses. Typically a glass house is about 30kg/m2/annum but with our facility we were seeing closer to 60kg/m2/annum (100 percent increase) for basil. This does not take into consideration any wastage in the greenhouse environment through to the variations in climate, pest and disease as previously mentioned.
We typically achieve harvest weight/yield in60-70 per cent of the time it takes in a glasshouse. This means we can run up to 50% more growing cycles per annum.
The use of TCEA means that the optimum growth conditions can be communicated digitally to other growth systems anywhere in the world through networked systems which greatly improves the effectiveness and productivity potential of the systems, as well as quality and yield of the produce. This is not something that is achievable in glasshouse environments currently.
Compared to many other indoor environments the benefits of our system include:
- Less chemicals – no pesticides, biocides or fungicides
- Less energy – intelligent, multi-spectral lighting only delivers the light plants need, through a high-efficiency, dynamic power system.
- Less water – closed-loop irrigation system means only water used is in the plants grown.
- Less wastage – yield is maximised in every growing cycle. Enhanced scheduling capabilities and dynamic lighting control means crops with extended shelf-life can be grown to order.