Pilot Project Showcases Potential of Vertical Farming in the Midwest
Developments in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) continue to accelerate. Most efforts have focused on developing systems to grow produce, specifically leafy greens, near urban centers to optimize logistics and decrease the risks associated with outdoor production. Significant venture capital investments have been driving the expansion. However, advancements are also being made in other crops.
One company, Grōv Technologies, has developed vertical farm technology for animal feed and successfully piloted an indoor, fully automated system growing barley and wheatgrass. It has the capability to produce 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of sprouted barley or wheatgrass per day using 95% less water and replaces 35 to 50 acres of forage crop ground. The pilot project on a Utah dairy farm provides 15% of the feed for about 2,000 dairy cows.
The Aimpoint Research WatchDesk believes reduced risk that CEA offers will help support its continued expansion, and the model in Utah showcases its potential in the Midwest and animal feed industry.