Farming in a Controlled Environment

Ines Marjanovic

Agronomy Expert

There is considerable pressure on today's farmers. This is because of farming, as a special type of manufacture, largely depends on climate and natural resources. Climate changes have led to unpredictable weather conditions that can endanger farmer's efforts with frequent hail, frost or drought. With increased global population, that is predicted to reach a number of 9.6 billion by 2050, we will need to produce more food in the same land area. Food security is threatened by the lack of arable land, water deficiency, ecosystem degradation and rising of fossil fuel prices. As a result, there is an urgent need to find a future solution. Scientists have found methods to produce more food in the same land area, thus reducing further deforestation. Farming is no longer restricted to the field, it has been moved to the cities and into the developed environment.

Farming Towards Urbanization

The bond between the farm and the city has never been closer. Vacant factories, warehouses, office buildings, and other facilities are turning into urban farms. Farming in controlled environments and farming within the cities represent the future of food production. Although they are both urban farming, there is a difference between controlled environment farming (CEF) and open space farming:

    • Controlled environment farming is a type of urban farming where environmental conditions such as light, temperature, humidity, and nutrient cycling are controlled and combined with urban architecture and green infrastructure;
  • Open space farming includes gardens within the city, like community gardens and rooftop gardens.

 

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Benefits of Farming Innovations

Farming in the controlled environment allows farmers to produce high-value crops at maximum productivity in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. This innovation brings the possibility to produce crops year-round, and is not affected by extreme weather events and climate conditions. It thus creates substantial increases in output with fewer inputs. This practice, with reduced use of fertilizers, water, pesticides, has changed the growing environment. It allows the farmer to offer produce that tastes better to the consumer. Urban farming brings food closer to the urban population, thus protecting the environment by reducing emissions associated with food transport. While rooftop farms bring a new dimension to urban areas by greening it, urban farming connects people with nature and create relaxed and peaceful zones in the city.

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The bond between the farm and the city

Unfortunately, indoor farms contribute little to global food production. Production costs of these systems are still higher than in conventional outdoor growing practices. However, by taking advantage of new technologies, including energy-efficient LED lighting and automated systems, farmers could bring costs down. Although controlled environment farming is a soilless system, Agrivi farm management software can help farmers who are using this innovational farm practice to track all their farm activities in the form of tasks. With Agrivi, urban farmers can also keep up with their finances and analyze their entire productivity and profitability.

Even if you farm in a controlled environment, you can improve food production by using Agrivi software!

 

Text sources: Tech News World || Property and Environment Research Center

Image sources: Grist || Sunny Point Gardens || Entorno Inteligente