Mobile Vertical Grow Racks

6 Pros and Cons of Vertical Farming

6 Pros and Cons of Vertical Farming

The Ultimate Vertical Grow System - Pipp Horticulture

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

Typically, when a grow facility has converted to Vertical Farming, you can grow more plants with a larger canopy footprint than you did before! Increasing your ability to store and grow multiple strains of cannabis that you haven’t been able to with single-level grow tables. Vertical Farming designs allow you to house a wider variety of genetics to rotate into your production schedule and grow more strains per harvest without sacrificing yields or needing a bigger building. A larger production footprint and a more extensive genetic library allow growers to offer a greater variety of products to meet the demands of this constantly evolving market.
 
Vertical farming may seem like more work with the increase in space, but having a more controlled environment means more consistency and a lower failure rate. Pipp Horticulture and its divisions, GGS Structures, Vertical Air Solutions, and Greenhaus Industries, offer all the products necessary to create the ultimate vertical grow system! From Vertical Grow Racks and Mobile Carriages to trays, carts, and other essential accessories.
 
Elevate Platform System

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:

Mobile Carriages for Vertical Grow Racks - Pipp Horticulture

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. 

Pipp Horticulture

In Conclusion

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.

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Turning Square Footage Into Cubic Footage with Claybourne Company

Turning Square Footage Into Cubic Footage with Claybourne Company

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Now Is The Time to Go Vertical

Vertical Farming has paved its way into the cannabis industry rapidly and is continuing to excel every day. Combined U.S. medical and recreational cannabis sales could reach $33 billion by the end of 2022 and reach 38.8 billion by the end of 2023, according to MJBiz FactBook. The time for multi-story grow operations is in more demand than ever to keep up with the increasing cannabis sales. California, in particular, has been in the legal cannabis market for medical patients since 1996, and in 2016 recreational use became legal. As of November 16, 2022, total cannabis tax revenue from third-quarter returns is $242 million. 

Claybourne Company is one of the top California cannabis brands in Perris, California. They produce top-tier cannabis with special attention given to each step of the production process while using their proprietary techniques to maximize each harvest’s potential maintaining quality and consistency. 

The move to vertical farming took time and effort. Claybourne Co.’s decision to convert to vertical farming came from many different angles, including the overall cost, future environmental impact, quality of service, and turning square footage into cubic square footage to have a greater return on investment.

 
 
Claybourne Company Vertical Farming
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When the grow operation decided to convert into a multi-story build, the Pipp team helped plan everything exactly how the Claybourne Company requested. We helped work on a custom design to accommodate Claybourne Company’s required fire protection designs.

The grow facility can now hold up to 1,944 plants and increased the grow facility to 40,800 sq. ft. of the total canopy with an average of 63% of room utilization by implementing Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks. 

When asked about a greater return on investment, Brent points out, “The less floor space you take up and the square footage of canopy you have, the greater the return on investment.” When your grow has multiple tiers growing simultaneously, the cost of production is much lower, “and in agriculture, a lot of what we do is based on the cost of production.” 

Listen as Brent Barnes, VP of Cultivation & Genetics, talks about working with Pipp Horticulture and how shifting to vertical farming has benefited the company.

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Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks

Craft at Scale with Freedom Green Farms and Pipp Horticulture

Craft at Scale with Freedom Green Farms and Pipp Horticulture

Pipp Horticulture

 

Working with Pipp Horticulture means maximizing your canopy space and controlling every aspect of the plant’s growth. Aligning perfectly with Freedom Green Farms’ mission; “Sustainability Made, Simply Clean.” Drew Nowak, Founder/CEO of Freedom Green Farms, wanted to “be kind of new age; we wanted to be different.” The team produces craft at scale, not a thousand pounds every month but four to five hundred pounds per month. At Freedom Green, Drew was looking to grow based on the genetics they received and the demand for those genetics, having the ability to produce what they wanted when they wanted to while having that adjustment ability with their cultivars.

 

“It doesn’t matter what I like; it doesn’t matter what you like; it matters what the people want,” Drew states as he discusses the demand in the Michigan Cannabis market. Growing cannabis isn’t just about producing the best and the highest THC percentage; it’s about maintaining the quality and educating the public on what that quality means. The Freedom Green Farms team aims to produce the most potent flavor and terpene content while maintaining THC levels. Mike Nowak states, “I’d rather pick one thing and be the best at one thing than do ten things and be average.”

 

Many questions had come up with the Freedom Green team when moving forward with Pipp Horticulture mobile vertical grow racks. How are we going to work on that second level? Is it going to be safe? Will the plants receive the same amount of attention on the second level? Pipp Horticulture worked with the Freedom Green Farms team to ensure all questions were answered. Contractors and Pipp Horticulture work side by side to help provide guidance. After working with the Pipp team, converting their 21,000-square-foot facility into a vertical farming canopy space was a no-brainer. “Employees feel safer operating on the second level, and it’s just cleaner and safer for us. So really, it’s been a huge benefit to our operation,” Drew explains the transition to vertical farming.

Freedom Green Farms - Greenhaus Industries Grow Trays
Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks
Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks
Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks

Listen below as we sit down with Founder/CEO Drew Nowak to discuss their journey and transition into vertical farming.

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Oakfruitland Vertical Farming

How Oakfruitland Elevated Their Cultivation With Vertical Farming

How Oakfruitland Elevated Their Cultivation With Vertical Farming

Oakfruitland Vertical Farming

The cannabis market is fast-paced and changing daily. In the United States, sales of legal, recreational cannabis are expected to reach an estimated 25 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. Legal marijuana sales are forecast to increase steadily with each consecutive year, and regulators are hopeful for a decision on federal legalization by the end of 2022.

Oakfruitland began making waves in the fast-paced California market with their hand-trimming methods, where growers trim the leaves of each plant and flower by hand to customize the size, deliver premium quality, and maximize flower material. The care brought to their plants carried over to the cultivar, with their signature “Oak-Lato”, quickly becoming a California dispensary staple.

The demand for their product continued to increase rapidly and the leadership decided it was time to do something fast in order to greatly ramp up production. This is when they made the decision to shift their facility from single-tier HPS to multi-tiered vertical farming systems with LED technology.

The shift to vertical farming, alongside the implementation of integrated air circulation systems, took things at Oakfruitland to the next level (literally).

Oakfruitland: Vertical Farming Equipment and Components of a Vertical Grow System
Elevate Platform System at Oakfruitland

Oakfruitland nearly tripled its harvest by creating over 3,200 sq. ft. of canopy space in one of its grow rooms by implementing Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks and Vertical Air Solutions.

Now their cultivar is sold in a variety of dispensaries in California including Cookies, Berner’s On Haight, Jungle Boys OC and much more! The team at Oakfruitland took it a step furtehr and created an even more efficient workspace by hanging their Pipp ELEVATE™️ Platform near their vertical farming system! This makes for even quicker assembly – which means more time spent cultivating. 

Listen as Oakfruitland’s sales manager talks about working with Pipp Horticulture and how making the shift to vertical farming has been a complete game-changer for their cultivation facility.

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Elevate Platform System

Cultivating With 3 Tiers of Vertical Farming With Pipp Horticulture – TRU Infusion Spotlight

Cultivating With 3 Tiers of Vertical Farming With Pipp Horticulture – TRU Infusion Spotlight

Elevate Platform System

TRU Infusion products offer a premium cannabis experience by utilizing the most advanced technology combined with the safest and most efficient production methods available. The TRU Infusion lab uses proprietary extraction techniques for clean and pure outcomes. Their prepared products are made from scratch to ensure quality, complete infusion, and accurate dosing.

The TRU Infusion team kept its eye on emerging technologies and farming methods to boost production while maintaining high flower quality. They ultimately decided to transition from single-tier to multi-tiered vertical farming and soon partnered with Pipp Horticulture, Greenhaus Industries, and Vertical Air Solutions to create the ultimate vertical farming environment. Over 1,188 plants are flourishing in 6, two and three-tiered flower rooms, and demand for their quality flower is multiplying in the cannabis industry. 

What was the deciding factor in choosing Pipp Horticulture amongst other leading mobile vertical farming companies? Dave Lawson, TRU Infusion COO, said Pipp’s industry-leading horticulture experience and knowledge of the cultivation process made it perfect for their Arizona cultivation facility. 

As the cannabis industry continues to expand, the TRU team has retrofitted an entirely new facility around the Pipp racking system to continue cultivating more of their TRU Flower products.

Tru Infusions Vertical Farming
2nd Level Vertical Farming - Tru Infusion
Elevate Platform System

TRU Infusion created over 24,512 sq. ft. of canopy using 2 and 3 tiers of mobile vertical grow racks from Pipp Horticulture. With 16 ft. high racks, each tier of flower can grow and flourish right into harvest.

 

The TRU Infusion team also made use of the ELEVATE™ Platform System to easily perform plant maintenance on the two and three tiers of their canopy. The ELEVATE™ Platform System is a robust, lightweight, and portable deck that allows cultivators to access the upper levels of PIPP’s Multi-Tier Mobile Grow Racks quickly, efficiently, and most importantly – safely. This patent-pending system was designed to integrate with PIPP’s Bulk Rack Shelving Systems without any modifications. The ELEVATE™ Platform System can be installed on new or existing mobile vertical grow racks.

Watch as COO Dave Lawson discusses his plans for vertical farming expansion and partnership with Pipp Horticulture. 

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Vertical Farming at TruHarvest

Creating Over 25,000 Sq. Ft. Using Vertical Farming – Trulieve Spotlight

Vertical Farming at TruHarvest

With several locations across the East and West coast, Trulieve believes in the power of cannabis for all. Their team takes great pride in building community, offering innovative products and advocating for the industry. In order to educate and spread equity within the cannabis industry, Trulieve had to continue expanding across the U.S., which meant they needed the ability to grow more product and increase production capacity – quickly and efficiently. The team knew going vertical was the new standard for indoor cultivation and was prudent to their aim to expand sustainably. 

 

After meeting with several vertical racking providers, Trulieve consulted with fellow facility owners to find out who was the most reliable and innovative racking providers that worked alongside owners to accomplish goals. This is when their team heeded advice from other cultivators and contacted Pipp Horticulture’s CAD team to prepare room drawings including elevations of the vertical, grow systems, to ensure efficient grow space. After seeing the capabilities of the racking system and accessories, Trulieve decided to partner with Pipp Horticulture to transform into a indoor vertical cultivation facility.

Trulieve/Harvest - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks
Pipp Team at Trulieve

Fast forward a few years, now the Trulieve cultivation facility is fully equipped with the ultimate dream team: Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks, Vertical Air Solutions and Grow Trays. Working directly with Pipp’s team of in-house professional engineers, CAD designers, sales support, and experienced vertical farming operators they were able to experience unparalleled support before and after the equipment installation to ensure operational success.

Now Trulieve is able to grow, harvest and produce cannabis plants in an eco-friendly environment to reduce carbon footprint and protect the planet. Check out how Pipp created over 25,700 sq. ft. of canopy and contributed to this success through vertical farming. It’s quite impressive, these numbers don’t lie!

Here Are The Official Numbers:

Total Rooms – 4
Total Grow Trays – 828
Total Double Tier Racks – 92
Total Canopy – 25,792 SQ. FT.

Greenhaus Grow Tray

Grow Like Trulieve – Partner With The Leading Provider of Moveable Vertical Farming Solutions

Our mobile grow racks, Greenhaus tray systems, and vertical air solutions allow cultivators to maximize space in cultivation production and post-harvest processing facilities through vertical farming. Implementing our mobile cultivation racks will increase production by maximizing cubic canopy footprint without increasing the square footprint of the room or building. Vertical farming maximizes production capability, reduces operating costs, and increases overall revenue per square foot by as much as 3 times.

Pipp’s mobile vertical grow racks can be built up to 56’ long and 18’ high (systems larger require engineering approval). Pipp Horticulture has a team of in-house professional engineers, CAD designers, sales support, and experienced cannabis operators to provide partners with unparalleled support before and after equipment installation to ensure operational success. Pipp Horticulture also offers professional installation of cannabis grow racks across North America and all products are proudly made in the USA!

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