Hello folks, Are you planning to start a vertical farming business in the USA? well, you have landed in the right place. This article provides you with the basics and step-by-step guide for vertical farming in the USA.
What is vertical farming?
Vertical farming is the process of producing food on vertically inclined surfaces. Instead of growing vegetables and other foods on the same surface, as in a field or greenhouse, this method produces food in vertically stacked layers typically used in other structures such as skyscrapers and shipping.
Using controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology uses modern indoor farming techniques. Artificial control of temperature, light, humidity, and gases makes it possible to produce food and medicine indoors. In many ways, vertical farming is like greenhouses where metal reflectors and artificial light enhance the natural sunlight.
The main purpose of vertical farming
The main purpose of vertical farming is to maximize crop production in a limited space. Vertical farming is one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors, with many startups taking advantage of its growth. The practice involves arranging crop layers in a vertically controlled environment to improve plant growth using artificial light instead of sunlight.
Many new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cameras, and sensors that detect plant diseases, have made businesses more cost-effective and helped firms record healthy profits. In addition to providing fresh local produce, vertical agriculture can help increase the world’s population’s food production and agricultural activity. There are two main reasons why this type of farming, also known as indoor farming;
- Numerous startups are emerging in the sector and attracting millions of dollars in investment.
- More people are living in cities; this is an irreversible global trend, which means that demand for fresh produce will increase in urban areas. It will make sense to bring production closer to consumers.
Benefits of vertical farming in the USA
Reliable year-round crop production
The biggest advantage of vertical farming is that it does not depend on the weather – you can get consistent year-round crop yields without worrying about climatic conditions. Adverse effects can occur on both production and production quality and profiling. Farming in a safe, well-supervised, and organized environment brings reassurance and peace of mind to farmers who provide re-programmable yields.
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By eliminating the effects of Mother Nature, there is no such thing as a ‘seasonal crop,’ and farmers will not have to suffer losses as they try to push the window of production of ‘seasonal crops.’ They can successfully reduce harvest time and improve volume without compromising on taste or quality, which is always 100% consistent. Taste and shelf life consistently improve when indoor vertical development systems are properly designed and managed. It allows commercial farmers to meet delivery schedules and the demands of their customers confidently.
Better use of space
Conventional farms need fertile arable land. But vertical farms can be designed and built in any climate or location – regardless of weather conditions or temperature extremes. And since their stacking growth systems allow them to spread upwards, getting higher yields on a smaller land area is possible. One vertical farm can consistently grow between 10 to 20 acres of soil, depending on which crop is grown.
Ensures consistent crop production
The biggest advantage of vertical farming is that it is highly reliable. When you choose vertical farming, you can be assured of a consistent crop yield throughout the year. It is made possible because vertical farming does not usually depend on the weather, which allows you to grow crops without having to deal with adverse weather conditions.
When you farm in a completely safe and highly monitored zone, you are also assured of recurring crop yields without interruption. Since the effects of Mother Nature have been eliminated here, the concept of seasonal crops no longer exists, and farmers will not be harmed when they try to advance the production window for seasonal crops.
Vertical farming is also a very energy-saving process. Although this farming method uses LED lighting, some vertical farms can generate power. For example, you will find several organizations specializing in renewable technologies that combine heat and energy to create an efficient solution that can harness the extra energy that will later be incorporated into other areas of your business. You can also transfer the extra energy to your respective power grid and save some extra money.
Year-round food production
Indoor vertical farms can grow 365 days yearly, regardless of weather conditions. Vertical farms are not as sensitive to the effects of storms or severe weather events as conventional farms. Climate control enables reliable food production throughout the year. This reliability means the user can access fresh, locally grown produce in all seasons.
Minimize water usage
One of the major benefits of vertical farming is that the hydroponic growing process uses only 10% of the water content and uses more nutrients and fertilizers than traditional methods. Because the water is clean after use, it can be recycled and reused, reducing costs and waste.
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Indoor farming can be good for the environment as it drastically reduces the fossil fuels required for farming implements that are not required for sowing, fertilizing, weeding, or harvesting crops. Vertical farming also helps improve biodiversity because it does not interfere with the earth’s surface, allowing the natural animal populations that live on and around the farm to thrive.
Number of vertical farms are there in the United States
The US vertical farming market is fragmented, with more than 2,000 farms across the United States. There are more small indoor vertical farms in the country than large-scale farms.
How vertical farming works
There are four characteristics helpful in understanding the way vertical farming works. They are Physical layout, Lighting, Growing medium, and Sustainability characteristics. Firstly, the main purpose is to produce more food per square meter. To this end, crops are grown in the stacked layers in a tower life structure.
Secondly, the perfect combination of natural and artificial lights is used to keep the perfect light level in the room. Thirdly, aquaponic, aeroponic, or hydroponic growing mediums are used instead of soil for growing plants. Coconut husk and similar non-soil sources are common in vertical farming. It uses various sustainability features to meet the energy costs of the crop. Vertical farming uses 95% less water.
Top vertical farming companies in the USA
more than 60% of vertical farms belong to small, local farms. The largest companies are Aero Farms in New Jersey, Plenty Unlimited in San Francisco, and Bowery Farming in New York. They make all kinds of green vegetables, including Kale, Arugula, Lettuce, and various salad mixes. All color LEDs are commonly used in the American indoor farm industry.
New York startup Aerofarms has built the largest vertical farm in Newark, New Jersey. Vertical farms have become more popular over the years to effectively eliminate food shortages during farming. More than 80% of the land suitable for crops is already in use. Unfortunately, continuous large-scale agriculture contributes to global deforestation, pollution, and climate change.
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The farmer uses his patented aeroponic technology, providing high accuracy and productivity with minimal environmental impact and risk. Aero Farms, based in New Jersey, USA, claims its methods use 95% less water than standard arable farming. “Aeroponic” farming refers to growing plants in a foggy environment without using soil or an earth-like material, called “geoponics.” Aeroponic systems enable plant production using 95% less water.
Beginning in 2015, Bowery has emerged as one of the fastest-growing startups in the sector, with over $ 140m worth of funding. Bowery Farming claims that its methods use 95% less water than conventional agriculture and are 100 times more productive on the same land. You would think that the beginning of any farming would be clear of everything that has been genetically modified, but the fact is that Bowery makes a point of saying that it has “zero pesticides and non-GMO “seeds are used.
Plenty is probably the largest company after gaining over $220m. Its vertical farms in San Francisco, USA, produce Kale, Arugula, mixed spices and exotic herbs for retailers. This company had “no competition,” and the industry was “altogether,” including traditional farming.
Based in New York and Chicago, USA, it has four production sites across the country for additional facilities. Since its inception in 2011, the company has invested over $ 45m. Unlike most firms that use aeroponics, Gotham Greens has opted for hydroponics, which converts soil into a water-soluble mineral nutrient solution.
Although Iron Ox has raised only $ 6m so far, its operations are unique in the industry. The California-based company mainly operates the world’s first fully independent indoor farm using robots to plant and pick crops. The company specializes in Lettuce and Kale but expects the list to grow as it expands its business.
Fruit and vegetables are grown under vertical farming in the USA
Fruits and vegetables accounted for 47% of the total market share in the largest US vertical farming market by crop type. Tomato is one of the main crops grown in the country through a vertical farming system. Hydroponic techniques have been commercially successful for propagation, seed germination, and tomato production. Producers have recognized this as an opportunity, thus increasing the production of fruits and vegetables through vertical cultivation.
Year-round strawberry availability is possible through an integrated agricultural production system. Vertical farms produce an average of 5.45 pounds of Lettuce per square foot. To maintain market demand, many farmers in the country have started growing strawberries using hydroponics. Based on the above factors, vertical farming is expected to play an essential role in producing fruits and vegetables in the country.
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Vertical farming market in the USA
The vertical farming market offers production of seedlings with a fast supply chain and eight weeks turnaround time of the seedling ordering system. These systems will help farmers meet the growing demand and special offers to consumers in the US market. Increasing focus on plug development and reducing plant shrinkage will encourage companies to introduce advanced technology to the market in the USA.
The vertical farming market in the USA is moving towards a more sustainable model than the agricultural movement. The use of layout and workflow optimization will enable reasonable optimization and the highest labor efficiency in the US market. The Market Research Report provides an in-depth and concise analysis of the vertical farming market in the USA through development systems, ecology, and technology.
The growing need for sustainable agricultural practices that mitigate the negative effects on the environment will fuel the growth of the vertical farming market in the United States. With extraordinary levels of environmental pollution and a significant impact on land resources, the intensity of production will further the need for sustainable agricultural practices in the US market.
The inefficiencies in the supply chain exacerbate the impact of the downturn and adversely affect the market’s harvesting, processing, and transportation processes. Implementing vertical farming will reprocess inputs and use fewer resources, thus maximizing the sustainability of the vertical farming market in the United States. Harvesting robots and greenhouse roof washers are used to reduce operating costs and increase revenue in the vertical market in the USA.
Automated plant movements include grafting, seeding, grafting, packaging, harvesting, and cleaning unit operations that are gaining traction in the US market. The growing popularity of kitchen gardens, fueling the concept of onsite farming, is driving the growth of the vertical farming market in the United States. Kitchen gardens are being set up everywhere to market community initiatives.
The growing number of activities that help reduce pollution, energy consumption, and carbon footprint will drive the vertical farming market growth in the USA. The ecological segment of the US vertical farming market is divided into indoor and outdoor. Overseas is the fastest growing sector in the US market, approximately 26% over the forecast period.
The adoption of the local food movement and the growing demand for fresh produce fuel the growth of the outside world in the US market. Restaurants, housing complexes, schools, and supermarkets use outdoor vertical farming methods to offer nutritious and fresh produce in the US market. The US vertical farming market is divided into lighting devices, components of growth methods, and sensing devices.
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Is vertical farming better than traditional farming?
To feed our growing population, we need a solution away from traditional farming. Vertical farming is efficient and reliable, producing more food per square foot than conventional farms. Traditional farming methods require extensive use of organic and inorganic fertilizers to maintain soil health and maximize crop yields. Plants are also vulnerable to pests, diseases, and adverse weather conditions, which require additional chemicals.
Vertical farms grow crops without soil. Water and nutrients are re-transmitted several times to plant roots, so there is no waste or flow. Because the environment is self-contained, it is not affected by weather conditions. That being said, produce from vertical fields alone will not be enough to feed our rapidly growing population. Traditional farmers, modern farmers, and agricultural scientists will need to work together to create a more flexible, sustainable food system for our growing global population.
In the USA, vertical farming companies attract millions of dollars in investment and increase plant demand. You must follow the above steps to start vertical farming in the USA. If you live in the following states of the US and planning for vertical farming, this content may be helpful to a certain extent.
|Arkansas||Kentucky||New Hampshire||South Dakota|
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