The 21st Century's New Agricultural Method: Vertical Farming

profile picture BookMyCrop Sep 21, 2022

By 2050, it is expected that there will be 9 billion people on the planet, with over 80% of them living in cities. Growing crops in vertical layers is known as "vertical farming." In addition to requiring up to 70% less water than traditional farming techniques, vertical farming also saves a substantial amount of space and area. It frequently includes soilless farming methods like hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics as well as controlled-environment farming approaches that strive to optimize plant growth. Buildings, shipping containers, underground tunnels, and defunct mine shafts are a few typical vertical agricultural constructions. The increased crop output from a lower unit amount of land required is one of the main benefits of vertical farming systems. Techniques for vertical farming have higher start-up costs than traditional farming, which presents economic issues. Due to the usage of additional lighting like LEDs, vertical farms also have high energy input needs. Additionally, if non-renewable energy is utilized in a vertical farm to meet this energy need, it could result in greater pollution than in farms or greenhouses that use renewable energy.

Various Vertical Farming Methods

Hydroponics
The method of growing plants without soil is known as hydroponics, and it is a crucial mechanism utilized in vertical farming. The roots of the plant are submerged in the liquid solution in hydroponic systems to allow for plant growth in a solution with nutrients that are practically free from the earth consists of macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur as well as micronutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It also contains trace elements including iron, chlorine, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. Hydroponics key benefits are its higher yield per unit area and lower water use.

Aeroponics
In an atmosphere of air and mist, with no soil and very little water, aeroponics allows plants to flourish. By far, the most environmentally friendly method of growing plants without soil is aeroponics, which consumes up to 90% less water than even the most effective standard hydroponic systems and doesn't need for changing the medium. Aeroponic systems also employ a vertical design due to the lack of a growing medium, which saves more energy because gravity naturally drains extra liquid, as opposed to standard horizontal hydroponic systems that frequently need water pumps to handle excess solution. Additionally, it has been shown that plants cultivated aeroponically absorb more vitamins and minerals, improving their health and nutrient content. Although not yet frequently used for vertical farming, aeroponic systems are starting to gain popularity.

Aquaponics
An aquaponics ecosystem that encourages the co-culture of fish and plants. The phrases aquaculture, which describes the practise of raising fish, and hydroponics, which describes the process of growing plants without soil, are combined to form the term aquaponics. This technique tries to integrate fish and plants in a single habitat, comparable to hydroponics. This technique uses fish that are raised in indoor ponds to create waste that is high in nutrients and is then used as a food source for plants raised in vertical farms. Fish tank wastewater that is nutrient-rich is filtered through a solid waste removal system before being directed to a bio-filter, where harmful ammonia is changed into nutrient nitrates. Additionally, the plants absorb the fish's carbon dioxide and utiliZe it to warm the water in their tanks, helping to conserve electricity and maintain the greenhouse's temperature at night. Most vertical farming innovations are used on a larger scale than aquaponics. Many commercial vertical farms with an aquaponics component that merely aim to produce quickly growing vegetables, however, continue to employ it. Because of this, problems with production and economics are clarified, and efficiency is also improved.

Arrow Farms
Aeroponic farming innovation is used by Arrow Farms to guarantee predictable crop harvesting outcomes under indoor farming procedures, reduced environmental impact, quicker harvesting, and better-quality food production. This method facilitates the growth of green plants without the need for soil or sunlight.
Intelligent lighting, intelligent feeding, intelligent aeroponics, and intelligent pest control are all used in vertical farming. By constructing and establishing farms, Arrow Farms seeks to implement ecologically responsible transformation throughout the entire farming sector. In other words, they hope to increase crop production while using less land, which could result in a revolution in food production.

Conclusion
In response to growing demand on agricultural production systems, a new technology called vertical farming seeks to enhance crop yield per unit of land area.

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