Innovation and Demonstration for a competitive Dutch Vertical Farming sector

The Fieldlab Vertical Farm project has the ambition of developing a competitive Vertical Farming sector in The Netherlands through the collaboration between knowledge institutes, industry and semi-governmental partners. The topic is approached from different angles such as market and economy, cultivation and technology, education and training. Among the demonstration experiments, comparative trials have been run simultaneously at different partner’s facilities to find out whether starting with the same material and cultivation strategy would generate the similar results.

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The colourful life of plants in a vertical farm

In vertical farms all the production factors can be precisely controlled, making that we can precisely control the growth, development and quality of the crops. LEDs play a crucial role in this control. A number of examples will be presented on how to use different light spectra and intensities to control the growth, development and quality of plants and harvested products.

Optimization of light should be balanced with optimization of all other growth factors (e.g. temperature, CO2, humidity, plant spacing, water, nutrients, etc). Sensors, simulation models and artificial intelligence play an important role in optimizing the production systems and can ultimately be used to realise autonomous production systems.

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