Advantages of Vertical Farming

Minimum Input – Maximum Output

Vertical Farming is a revolutionary approach to producing high quantities of nutritious and quality fresh food all year round, without relying on skilled labour, favourable weather, high soil fertility or high water usage.

The smart technology integrated into our systems offers many advantages, including:

1. RELIABLE HARVESTS

Vertical Farm Systems growing cycles are consistent and reliable, allowing commercial growers to confidently commit to delivery schedules and supply contracts. In a well-managed Vertical Farm System there are no such thing as 'seasonal crops' and there are no crop losses.

Vertical Farm Systems are fully enclosed and climate controlled, completely removing external environment factors such as disease, pest or predator attacks. It also means our farms are not dependent on fertile arable land and can be established in any climatic region globally irrespective of seasonal daylight hours and extremes in temperature.

2. MINIMUM OVERHEADS

Production overheads in Vertical Farm Systems installations are commercially competitive and predictable. In some cases profitability of over 30% has been demonstrated even after deducting full amortisation of capital equipment over a 10 year period.

Minimum overheads and grow costs are maintained through:

LOW ENERGY USAGE
The use of high efficiency LED lighting technology ensures minimum power usage for maximum plant growth. Computer management of photosynthetic wavelengths in harmony with phase of crop growth further minimises energy use while ensuring optimised crop yields

Greatly reduced energy usage for climate control is the direct result of not requiring sunlight inside the growing area which enables the use of high thermal efficiency buildings rather than poly greenhouses, and the vertical design of our systems means that for the same growing area the total air volume of a Vertical Farm Systems building is around 88% less than the air volume of single level growing systems.

The potential for use of green energy and the elimination of fossil fuel powered tractors, irrigation pumps and other horticultural equipment, Vertical Farm Systems can be structured as carbon emissions competitive.

LOW LABOUR COSTS
Vertical Farm Systems are fully automated growing systems with automatic SMS text messaging for any faults. Manual labour is only required on-site for planting, harvesting and packaging of crops - and the required skill levels are very low.

LOW WATER USAGE
Being a totally closed growing system with controlled transpiration losses, Vertical Farm Systems use only around 10% of the water required for traditional open field farming and around 20% less than conventional hydroponics. Water from transpiration is harvested and re-used and spent nutrient water is also processed for re-use.

REDUCED WASHING & PROCESSING
Vertical Farm Systems growing environments are fitted with strong bio-security procedures to eliminate pest and disease attacks. Total elimination of the need for foliar sprays, pesticides and herbicides in cropping systems results in produce that does not require holding times or expensive and product damaging washing or post-harvest processing.

REDUCED TRANSPORT COSTS
Vertical Farm Systems can be established in any geographic location with suitable power and water supplies. Strategic positioning of facilities close to the point of sale or in distribution hubs dramatically decreases the time from harvest to consumer and also reduces costs for refrigerated storage and transport.

3. INCREASED GROWING AREA

For the same floor area, Vertical Farm Systems multi-level design provides nearly 8 times more growing area than single level hydroponic or greenhouse systems. This compact design enables cost-effective farming installations in industrial estates, urban warehouses and other low cost and typically under-utilised environments not previously associated with high-quality high-margin agricultural activities.

4. MAXIMUM CROP YIELD

Irrespective of external conditions, Vertical Farm Systems can reliably provide more crop rotations per year than open field agriculture and other farming practices.

Crop cycles are also faster due to the systems’ controlled temperature, humidity, daylight hours optimisation and the use of bioponic biologically active organic plant nutrients. The systems can produce market grade produce of several crops within just 21 days.

5. WIDE RANGE OF CROPS

Vertical Farm Systems has a wide range of crops that are able to be grown in their systems. The crop growth is controlled by a comprehensive computer database that manages and maintains the optimum growing conditions for each specific crop variety being grown.

Examples of Suitable crops include:

  • Baby Spinach
  • Baby Rocket
  • Loose leaf Lettuce
  • Endives
  • Tatsoi
  • Basil

VFS has an ongoing program of database development for new crop varieties. Additional crops are being progressively developed and added to the database, based on specific requests from clients and these are uploaded to existing machines already in operation as part of the customer support program.

6. FULLY INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY

Profitability in commercial horticulture requires the ability to cost-effectively and consistently provide plants with optimum growing conditions from germination through to harvest. Vertical Farm Systems monitors and controls the levels of air, water and nutrition to provide optimum growing requirements with a fully integrated computer management system.

OPTIMUM AIR QUALITY
Temperature and humidity levels are closely monitored and maintained in an optimum range for each crop being grown. In warehouse installations the addition of CO² is an optional addition that further increases crop growth and yield rates.

OPTIMUM NUTRIENT AND MINERAL QUALITY
Essential for maximum plant growth and the nutritional wellbeing of consumers, Vertical Farm Systems use specially formulated and biologically active nutrients in all the crop cycles. Levels of nutrition available to the plants is constantly managed and adjusted to optimum levels relative to the growth stage of each crop.

Throughout a crop cycle, Vertical Farm Systems provide up to 82 organic minerals and enzymes to ensure healthy plant growth and promote maximum uptake of minerals essential for maximum nutrition and flavour of the end product.

OPTIMUM WATER QUALITY 
All fresh water into Vertical Farm System installations has particulate, fluoride and heavy metal contaminants removed and is sterilised before entering the system.

OPTIMUM LIGHT QUALITY
High-intensity low-energy LED lighting has been specifically developed and are used for maximum growth rates, high reliability and cost-effective operation.

The duration and intensity of the specific parts of the light spectrum that plants use during different stages of their growth is carefully programmed into the computer management system. This ground-breaking technology has dramatic effects on plant growth rates and yields.

contact us

sales [at] verticalfarms.com.au

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