6 Pros and Cons of Vertical Farming
Creating a Future with Vertical Farming
The world is changing every day faster than ever before. We must think creatively to stay ahead and on top of the rising changes. Businesses must rapidly adopt efficient and future-proofed strategies to achieve their goals. According to the World Health Organization, about 147 million people, 2.5% of the world population, consume cannabis. With this rising demand, converting to Vertical Farming is even more critical. Converting to a vertical farm can provide a higher production capacity (or output), a smaller overall footprint, and a more efficient workflow.
Every decision has pros and cons, and creating that list is “a simple and effective way to reduce uncertainty when there is more than one viable way to proceed.” Below we have put together six pros and cons of Vertical Farming to help ease the decision-making!
Pros of Vertical Farming:
1. Maximize the Grow Space
Space is well-spent in any facility when it comes to going vertical. Instead of relying on single-tier grow tables, cultivators can now take advantage of the tall ceiling heights of commercial warehouses and add multiple growing spaces to significantly increase their production capacity and utilize more of their facility to generate revenue. Pipp Horticulture’s Vertical Grow Racks allow growers to maximize their space and are vital to any successful operation. Combined with Pipp’s Mobile Carriages, grow facilities don’t waste an inch of space, allowing for easy movement of vertical racks to create high-density grow rooms. These products can be used through multiple stages in the plant life cycle to increase operational efficiency.
2. Increased Genetic Offerings
3. Location, Location, Location.
When considering vertical farming, you don’t always have to assume you have to start your operation in a remote location at a large facility to maximize your growing space. With vertical farming, consider finding a place closer to dense urban areas or your distribution center to reduce your footprint. It’s the same thought as eating local organic, sourced fruits and vegetables. Reducing your “food mile” to reduce your carbon footprint to help improve the environment. Imagine your growing facility across the street from where you distribute your product. Converting and utilizing indoor vertical farming can maximize your square footage and cubic footage within any grow facility.
Cons on Vertical Farming:
1. High Cost at the Beginning
When it comes to cost, it’s always risky to spend all that money upfront, unsure of the future outcome. Converting to Vertical Farming is costly, and investing in quality grow equipment, advanced climate control systems, vertical grow racks, etc., can add up quickly. However, this higher upfront cost compared to single-level growing sets you up for success with a lower production cost for your facility’s life.
Although all new additions can get expensive, working with Pipp Horticulture will help ease the stress and worries of converting. The Pipp team has over 50 years of experience and has quickly become the industry-leading provider of Mobile Vertical Growing Solutions with installations in over 2,000 grow rooms worldwide. Our Mobile Vertical Grow Racks allow cultivators to maximize their production capability, reduce operating costs, and increase their overall revenue per square foot by as much as three times! We even have a team of in-house professional engineers, CAD designers, sales support, and experienced cannabis operators to help provide support before and after equipment installation to ensure operational success.
2. Adjusting to Change
Converting to Vertical Farming will bring changes in different areas, including other climate conditions on each tier, utilizing various new equipment, for example, new grow lights and HVAC systems. Adjusting to change also might result in needing to grow your team and knowing each member of the current team understands the latest updates and procedures. But if there is one thing a successful grower is accustomed to, it is change. Similarly to changing from HPS to LED, going from single to multi-tier cultivation requires a change in mindset and SOP’s. The result is a more sustainable and efficient operation with increased production capacity.
Pipp Horticulture is here to help you at the beginning of these changes!Pipp’s in-house professional engineers, designers, sales support, and experienced cannabis operators help you with each process step. We provide professional installation across North America, and all products are proudly made in the USA!
3. Regulatory Challenges
With any new industry, regulatory hurdles always exist to overcome as these rules become established and understood by all parties involved. Each state has specific cannabis industry regulations to comply with, such as production capacity limits or building codes. These regulations will be different, for example, if you’re trying to operate in Michigan vs. California. Understanding these regulations can be difficult while trying to convert to vertical farming with new operations and equipment to learn.
Pipp Horticulture’s team can help during the converting process; we understand the nuances and can share our experiences from the hundreds of new builds we have been a part of. Listen to our interview with Brent Barnes, VP of Cultivation & Genetics at Claybourne Co. located in Paris, California; explain how the Pipp team helped create a custom design for their specific fire protection services.
As we just covered, Vertical Farming can bring high costs, new process changes, and new regulations to follow within your state of operation. These specific downfalls can be overwhelming initially, but in the end, they significantly improve your thinking processes toward the future. Every challenge brings new efficiencies you would have only discovered by taking that first step. Vertical farming is the way of the future, providing a more controlled environment to increase the quality and amount of plants, with the ability to grow multiple crops simultaneously and all year round.
Ready to convert to Vertical Farming? Check out this blog to learn five things you must know before converting to vertical farming.