What is the best cultivation strategy in a VF?

What is the best cultivation strategy in a VF?

Vertical farming takes place in a fully controlled environment with minimal space use and without the use of chemical crop protection products. It is a promising solution for food production for many applications and regions. But what is the best cultivation strategy in such a vertical farm? This is what the Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs of Wageningen University & Research is investigating. A growth model is under development for lettuce.

There is already a lot of knowledge and expertise in the field of vertical farming in the Netherlands. However, that knowledge and expertise are very fragmented. As a result, the sector lacks sufficient (international) clout. The Fieldlab Vertical Farming South Holland project ensures bundling in one central location. The Field Lab has four work packages: Market Marketing and Demand Articulation, Innovation and Demonstration, Education and Training and Business Accelerator. WUR is involved in a number of the work packages.

For example, WUR is investigating what the best cultivation strategy is in a vertical farm. So-called growth models already exist for many crops grown in greenhouses: they can be used to predict the effects of certain cultivation measures. However, the growing climate in a vertical farm is largely incomparable to a greenhouse. After all, there are no external influences, and energy and water are preserved within the cultivation space.

Based on an existing growth model for lettuce in greenhouses, WUR is developing a cultivation model for a vertical farm. This model will also include the quality of the crop as output. A vertical farm is very suitable for producing premium quality crops: burnt leaf edges, for example, are not desirable.

Continue reading.

Photo: WUR



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