Most experts agree that diversification in agricultural production is coming due to various conditions both real and perceived. Based on many factors, the future production of our food could and most likely will drastically change. Change in agriculture shouldn’t surprise us as much as it should prepare us to be on the forefront. In my opinion, indoor farming will definitely be a player and that means vertical farming will have a significant role in the process. Many millions of dollars have already been spent and early players are being weeded out as the economies of scale are being determined for the industry. I’m told that by 2024, the vertical farming market will exceed $13 billion and I suspect it only grows from there being pushed by the notion it is more sustainable and will cut back on food waste as transportation time is significantly reduced. AeroFarms is one notable vertical farm, headquartered in a former steel mill in Newark, New Jersey. Though its flagship farm was only seeded in September 2016, it reports yielding up to 625 tons of greens per acre in a year. Aerofarms was recently named among New Jersey Future’s “2018 Smart Growth Award Winners.” Meaning that municipalities are seeing the many benefits of introducing indoor farming into their redevelopment plans. I suspect it is a trend that many cities will soon incorporate, especially as the costs of production are reduced as technology advances, especially in the lighting department. Interestingly, there are some who note that of the near 100 vertical food production startups are located in U.S. cities, few take advantage of stranded assets, such as old thermal power plants. Keep in mind, the power plants have qualities that make them inherently amenable to vertical farming as consume about 45 to 50 percent of all the water used to cool plants during power generation. Verticle farming is not the only method of producing crops indoors. Agrilyst, a data driven company company assisting indoor growers in make decisions leading to bigger yields, have produced a great report on the indoor industry you can read HERE . It’s worth noting that there are plenty of moving parts, and in my opinion, that means there are opportunities for those savvy enough to engage in the indoor farming industry. As you consider diversifying your operation or simply looking for an alternative investment, in my opinion indoor farming is worth a look. (Source: Brink, patch)
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