Vertical farming: How to bring a dream to reality

urban

Expanding cities across the world rely increasingly on the global food network, but should they? Population growth, urbanisation and climate change place pressure on this network, bringing its resilience into question. For decades urban agriculture has been discussed in popular media and academia as a potential solution to improve food security, quality and sustainability. The new idol in this discussion is the vertical farm: A fully closed system for crop production.

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Scaling up plant production in vertical farms

Lisanne Meulendijks

One of VF’s advantages often mentioned is that crops can be produced anywhere around the globe, irrespective of the local growing conditions. Once the perfect indoor “growing recipe” is found for a specific crop, this recipe can potentially be copied anywhere. Practical experience however shows that reality is more complex. One and the same growing recipe set in different technical systems of different scales can create very different crops results.

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The colourful life of plants in a vertical farm

Leo Marcelis

In vertical farms all the production factors can be precisely controlled, making that we can precisely control the growth, development and quality of the crops. LEDs play a crucial role in this control. A number of examples will be presented on how to use different light spectra and intensities to control the growth, development and quality of plants and harvested products.

Optimization of light should be balanced with optimization of all other growth factors (e.g. temperature, CO2, humidity, plant spacing, water, nutrients, etc). Sensors, simulation models and artificial intelligence play an important role in optimizing the production systems and can ultimately be used to realise autonomous production systems.

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A Sophisticated Industrial Approach to Vertical Farming – Planet Farms

Roel Janssen

The story of Planet Farms is one of friendship, innovation, extraordinary people, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. Planet Farms was born of the founders’ shared eagerness and mission to revolutionize traditional agriculture and help the world grow. And naturally, from their love of high-quality and outstanding flavor, rooted in their Italian culture. Planet Farms inverts the historical role of technology in agriculture from defensive to preventive. The aim is no longer to check the natural environment but safeguard it by creating the ideal conditions for plant growth.

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Is vertical farming a triple-bottom-line sustainable solution?

Henry Gordon-Smith

Sustainability is often referred to as the “triple bottom line” meaning economic, social, and environmental impact. This presentation will assess how well vertical farming is doing across the 3 areas today by exploring real-world vertical farming case studies. The future of vertical farming will also be explored to determine if there is a future for this rapidly accelerating form of agriculture to have a comprehensive sustainability solution.

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Using robotics to save cost and prepare for a data driven future in vertical farming

Christopher Weis Thomasen

We will cover the automation journey for vertical farms with a perspective on the historic development in the warehouse industry as well. We will look into benefits of robotics and how they not only can help save cost but also gather data, beneficial for both traceability and production optimization as well as increasing yields.

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Plasma Activated Water in Vertical Farming

Paul Leenders

Plasma Activated Water (PAW) is produced out of air, water and electricity. The process is copied out of nature and is a mimicry of lightning in a thunderstorm. Shortly after activation PAW obtains unique properties that can be used to improve plant health an plant resilience. These temporary properties disappear and what remains is a natural nitrogen nutrient.

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