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Vertical Farm Systems and its Advantages Vertical farming practices are being practiced by most people all over the world due its benefits. Vertical or indoor farming tends to provide solutions for those people facing food problems especially with the increasing population. Hydroponics is one of the major farming techniques used in indoor farming. Indoor farming doesn’t use soil but uses a medium that provides plants with sufficient minerals for feeding and watering the plants. Artificial lighting is usually used in indoor farming to provide light for photosynthesis. One major benefit of this technique is that crops that are grown can be harvested throughout the year as they are grown indoors. They are safe from environmental effects such as drought and flooding so that the crops can be grown during such seasons. The environment in which crops grow in vertical farming is usually pest and disease-free which is another benefit. This helps to prevent post-harvest spoilage of crops being grown. Chemicals such as pesticides are not needed as crops are usually not exposed to any pests or diseases. Used warehouses, skyscrapers and shipping containers are the most common places where indoor or vertical farming is carried out. Vertical farming involved practices such as fertigation, controlled lighting as well as environmental control. Greenhouses usually use almost similar techniques to grow crops as those used in indoor or vertical farming. Reliable harvests throughout the year is one of the major benefits of vertical farming. The growing cycles adopted in this farming technique are usually very consistent and very reliable such that commercial growers can commit to supply contracts and delivery schedules. In vertical farming, there are neither crop losses nor seasonal crops. There are no crop losses as environmental factors such as diseases and pests are eliminated. The amount of crop produce provided by vertical farming is usually more as compared to regular farming techniques as it utilizes a larger growing area for crops. Due to this reason, cost-effective farming installations are used in under-utilized environments such as warehouses, industrial estates and other environments.
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Regular farming and other farming techniques don’t produce as many crop rotations as vertical farming does. Since factors such as humidity, temperature and light are controlled, crop cycles tend to be faster. A wide variety of crops can be produced through indoor farming including basil, spinach, lettuce, endives, kale and many more. The level of water, air and nutrition offered to crops in vertical farming is handled by advanced technology that is integrated into these farm systems. Optimum conditions that are required for growth of crops and their maturity are thus provided.
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LED lighting uses up less power to ensure maximum plant growth hence vertical farming incurs minimum overhead costs. The only time manual labor is required is during harvesting, packaging of crops as well as planting hence minimal labor is utilized in vertical farming.