As cannabis legalization continues to roll out across the United States, more growers are looking to optimize canopy space and their bottom line with vertical farming technology. Not only is vertical farming a solution to costly real estate necessary for large-scale cannabis production, it also reduces grow time and labor costs through standardization and automation.
Whether it’s corn, cucumbers, or cannabis, the goal of any farming operation is to grow healthy plants in abundance, and this is where vertical farming excels. Current applications of vertical farming, paired with state-of-the-art indoor growing technologies, have resulted in over 10 times the crop yield than traditional farming methods.
Vertical farming is also one of the more sustainable methods of growing cannabis, along with many other fruits, flowers, and vegetables. It uses up to 95 percent less water and nearly 100 percent less space than traditional growing methods while harvesting 80 percent more per unit of area, year-round.
Indoor Vertical Farming Technology Overview: What is it?
For decades, indoor-grown cannabis has reigned supreme in the marketplace, compared to her outdoor-grown sister. It’s no different today. Vertical farming technologies simply allow farmers to improve upon their indoor growing methods but on a much larger scale in vertically stacked layers.
Besides using every square foot of cultivation space available, vertical farming infrastructure and technologies ensure crops receive ideal lighting, airflow, water, and nutrients necessary for optimal growth.
4 Ways Vertical Farming Technology Can Improve Your Cannabis Operation
New and noteworthy technologies offer countless opportunities to incorporate vertical farming into your indoor cannabis cultivation operation. Besides energy and labor savings, indoor farming technologies help growers consistently produce healthy, high-yield crops.
Let’s look at how your vertical farming space can get an edge over the competition with four must-have technologies that are worth your investment.
1. Grow More With Mobile Vertical Grow Racks
Vertical grow racks are the foundation on which a successful vertical cannabis farming business is built. They allow for multiple levels of cannabis plants to grow on a large scale and provide the framework for shelves, LED lights, and other indoor farming technology necessary for healthy plants.
Vertical grow racks from Pipp Horticulture feature strong, anti-microbial, and fungal-resistant beams and uprights that lock together tightly, using a unique tapered finger attachment design. They can be designed with grow trays tailored to each operation, including combination grow trays, drip-to-drain grow trays and ABS combination grow trays. In addition, installing the vertical grow racks on mobile carriages transforms fixed aisle space in between each rack into more canopy space for operation. Pipp’s mobile drying carts or racks can help growers convert their dry room into a mobile, multi-tier dry/cure system while at the same time, reducing labor costs and improving the product’s quality.
2. LED Lights Grow Lush Plants With Less Energy
The most successful indoor and vertical farming operations rely on LED lights for lush and healthy plant growth. High-quality LED lighting solutions are also far more energy-efficient and produce less heat compared to traditional high-intensity discharge fixtures. By using targeted light spectrums and brightness, advanced LED light fixtures can optimize plant growth at every stage. The result is lower energy costs without sacrificing crop yield or crop quality.
3. Prevent Pathogens With Climate Control Systems
The biggest advantage of vertical farming technology is, perhaps, the ability to control the growing environment. Extreme temperatures and humidity can have a significant effect on plant health and are often the cause of poor yields, pests, and pathogens — even indoors. Fortunately, with a climate control system in place, indoor growers can control the environment for a remarkable harvest.
The best vertical farm climate control systems, like Vertical Air Solution’s Air Circulation System, operate at the microclimate level keeping consistent airflow throughout your vertical grow delivering ideal temperatures, humidity, and CO2 levels directly to the plants.
4. Controls and Sensors Offer Important Insight
Controls and sensors are essentially the central nervous system of your indoor cultivation operation that create self-regulating, micro-climates ideal for healthy plant growth. The controller operates growing equipment, collects data, and provides critical insight to the grower while sensors allow growers to monitor the environment. Oftentimes this can all be carried out with a smartphone app.
By controlling and monitoring the grow environment this way, cultivators can activate indoor farm equipment including LED lighting, HVAC units, and irrigation systems, automatically maintaining the ideal conditions to grow crops.
Vertical Farming is the Future: Trends In Technology
Industry experts have identified a rapid expansion of the general vertical farming market, which is expected to reach $7.3 billion annually by 2025. Increased access to institutional financing and banking services under proposed federal cannabis reforms will likely fuel intensified investment in vertical farming systems and indoor farming technology in the future.
With ongoing innovations in vertical farming technologies, it will be vital for growers to stay up to date on the latest advancements. By acquiring and installing high-quality vertical farming technologies today, savvy indoor farmers can expect to cultivate cannabis profits well into the future.
Watch to discover the 10 essential vertical farming tools you need for the ultimate grow room:
People also ask…
What technology is used in vertical farming?
A variety of state-of-the-art technologies, such as specialized LED lights, mobile vertical grow racks, and air-flow systems are used in vertical farming operations. In most cases, vertical farming technologies are combined into fully integrated systems.
What is the best vertical farming system?
The best vertical farming system largely depends on the growers’ needs. Mobile Vertical Grow Racks have proven to be the most effective solution for grow operations to maximize their canopy. In addition, soil-free systems, including hydroponics, are successful because of their effectiveness, eco-sustainability, and monetary advantages.
What are the methods of vertical farming?
Vertical farms come in all different shapes and sizes, from shipping containers to abandoned buildings several stories tall. Most vertical & indoor farms use one of three soil-free systems to provide nutrients to plants: hydroponic, aeroponics, or aquaponics.