Are we watching a new and broad shift in ag production with the new wave of vertical farming? Will it bring more opportunities to the Midwest?
Several firms such as “GreenSense Farms” in Portage, Indiana and “MightyVine” in Rochelle, IL are creating new production techniques for growing fresh produce year-round. These are occurring in either greenhouse climates or totally inside warehouse environments with artificial/LED lights. These are just two examples with many others developing new strategies and techniques as well.
“Green Sense Farms is transforming farming by growing leafy greens in stacking vertical towers, 365 days a year. We grow high quality crops consistently, using automated computer controls, which provide the precise amount of light, nutrients, water, temperature, and humidity, so we can harvest year-round.” Their first farm was in a 30,000 SF warehouse. They have partnered with others in the U.S. and China.
“MightyVine uses glasshouse technology pioneered in Holland. The model creates its own little ecosystem, from using rainwater and snow melt capture to avoid water waste, resulting in using only ten percent of the water of field grown tomatoes, to natural bumblebee pollination and sustainable, all-natural pest management techniques.”
Currently producing fresh tomatoes in a 15-acre greenhouse. MightyVine ships over 700,000 pounds in a given month.
Sources: Respective company websites.