Vertical farm yields are consistently higher than field farming, sometimes even hundreds of times bigger!
For example, the CEO of vertical farm Plenty, told Eater his farm produces 350 times the amount of produce per acre than traditional soil farming.
In this article, we’ll explore vertical farm yields from different sources, as well as our own container farms’.
Vertical farming cultivates crops in vertical, stacked layers. Typically, it uses soil-less farming techniques, such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.
High-tech vertical farms employ controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology in order to create perfect growing conditions for crops.
Vertical farming has many benefits.
For example, it reduces water consumption.
Vertical farms produce crops with 70% to 95% less water than field farming.
Additionally, vertical farms allow farmers to grow more plants in smaller spaces. Vertical farms maximize production per square foot by growing upward and closer together.
Vertical farm yields are also higher than other farming methods.
BrightFarms, a hydroponic greenhouse operation, reports on its website that its 280,000 square foot farm in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, produces 2 million pounds of greens per year.
This means that BrightFarms produces 7.1 pounds of produce per square foot while AeroFarms produces 28.5 pounds of produce per square foot. That’s 4 times as much!
But both of those farms use soil-less systems to grow crops. How do vertical farm yields compare to soil farms?
The answer will vary depending on the farm.
For example, farms that use CEA technology are more likely to have improved yields, versus farms that don’t.
A 2014 study, “Up, Up and Away! The Economics of Vertical Farming,” published in the Journal of Agricultural Studies, compared estimated yields of a CEA vertical farm to a field farm.
The author concluded that vertical farms produce an average of 516 times as many tons of produce per 10,000 square meters, than field farms.
A 2017 survey of indoor farms, found that vertical farms produced 5.45 pounds of lettuce per square foot on average. Meanwhile, field farms produced only 0.69 pounds of lettuce.
Our Pure Greens farms made from repurposed shipping containers use CEA technology that is completely controllable through a smartphone app.
Our farms use a hydroponic system to cultivate our crops.
Plants grown hydroponically don’t have to spread their roots out, in order to find nutrients like they do in soil. As a result, hydroponic systems allow plants to be grown closer together.
We grow our plants in five stacks of 16 square foot rows.
Using our hydroponic technology, we’re able to fit 90 basil plants in one row.
Traditional soil farming would have to place each crop about a foot apart, fitting only 16 plants in 16 square feet.
This means our hydroponic farms yield at least 5.6 times as much basil per square foot using just one row.
That’s 28 times as much basil per square foot once you factor in all five stacks!
You can start your own high yield vertical farm using one of our Pure Greens Container Farms.
Visit our website or call us at 602-753-3469 to find out more.