In this article, we are going to see the advantages and disadvantages of vertical farming.
Vertical Farming is the practice of planting crops in vertical rows. They usually include organic farming, which aims to increase crop growth, and landless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.
Advantages of Vertical Farming
Ensures Consistent Crop Production
One of the great benefits of vertical armor depends on its reliability. That means, when you choose direct farming, you can be sure of getting consistent crop production all year round.
This is also possible because direct farming does not usually depend on the weather, it allows you to plant crops without having to deal with inclement weather.
If you farm in a well-protected and well-guarded area, you also get the confidence to get repetitive crop production without hindrance. With the impact of Mother Nature being removed here, the concept of the annual harvest is no longer there, and farmers will not experience any losses as they try to push the production window of planting seasonally.
Growers can significantly reduce the total harvest time while also increasing the yield volume without compromising on taste or quality, both of which remain completely unchanged.
Indeed, the taste profile and shelf-life have gone well, with farmers using the right guidelines while doing vertical farming. This is also especially helpful for commercial farmers as they can now confidently commit to different delivery schedules and take on contracts requested by customers.
See also: How to do greenhouse farming?
Uses Space Properly
If you are familiar with the concept of farming, you probably know that conventional farming requires a number of acres of fertile land. However, vertical farming does not have such prerequisites.
You can design and build these farms in almost all types of landscapes and climates, but be sure to plant them regardless of the temperature or inclement weather.
Another remarkable quality of vertical farming is its mass growth program. Thanks to this program, you can achieve more productivity in a small piece of land.
Depending on the type of crop you plan to plant, about one hectare of the vertical farms can consistently grow crops that you may have grown on 10 to 20 hectares of land.
Reduces water consumption
One of the major benefits of vertical farming is that it follows a growing Hydroponic process where only 10% of the water is used. This method of farming also uses less fertilizer and nutrients compared to conventional methods. Since water is completely clean and after use, it can be reused properly thus reducing total costs and reducing waste.
Reduces Travel Expenses
When it comes to food production, end-to-end deliveries are often considered the most expensive feature in every transaction. If you are somehow familiar with the farming process, you will also know that crops need to be exported to many oceans, countries, and continents.
However, direct farming does not pose such a problem. This is one of the most unusual farming methods that allow you to plant crops almost anywhere. Therefore, you can always choose to plant crops in an area where your customer lives thus reducing travel costs, carbon-di-oxide emissions, and the constant need to refrigerate your product. At the end of the day, this not only contributes to the renewal of your products but also makes them incredibly profitable.
Lower Personnel Costs
If you plan to conduct vertical farming in a fully automated self-sufficient house system, you would not need large staff units to get consistent, annual production. This process only requires people with low skills.
Since all they have to do is manage and package the crop, the total cost of labor is often very low. This way, you can enjoy more products with cheaper work and upgrade your product without worrying about additional costs.
Vertical farming is also a very energy-efficient method. Although this method of farming uses LED lighting, some stationary farms also have the potential to generate their own energy.
For example, you will find many organizations that focus on renewable energy technologies that combine heat and energy to create an efficient solution that can use more energy that can be used in other areas of your business. You can also send too much energy to your power grid and save more money.
Excludes Chemicals or Pesticides
If you grow food on a high-rise farm, you have the opportunity to completely reduce the need to invest in pesticides. That is because your farming is done in a controlled environment that prevents pests from entering.
This prevents plant damage and reduces the chance of fungal diseases as moisture levels are now properly managed. At the end of the day, you are left with a product that is not only better but also healthier and safer to eat.
Restricted Workplace Accidents
This is another great advantage when it comes to direct farming. Unlike traditional farming, direct farming is humane and sustainable. Why? Yes, because it can effectively reduce the risks of work that you would see in the case of traditional farming.
With existing indoor farming, no farmer faces the risks associated with using heavy farming equipment. Besides, they are also well-protected against a variety of diseases, such as malaria, exposure to harmful chemicals, and their popularity. As this method of farming does not affect the trees and animals around the inland areas, it is also a good way to promote biodiversity.
The Future of Farming
Many call Vertical Farming a future farm, and it should be! This is even more true because a large number of people are likely to relocate to urban areas by 2050. In a situation like this, the population is also likely to grow, and an increase in population will increase the demand for proper, well-grown, organic food.
As Vertical Farming makes better use of land and water it can help prepare for combinations of this upcoming challenge. Dry farming is a sustainable way of farming and by producing consistent crop cycles without compromising on quality, surely the future we have been waiting for.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of vertical farming is the fact that it helps to produce more crops on a regular basis. As we already know, this method of farming enables cultivars to produce crops consistently in a small area. Interestingly, it also increases the value of the product.
Unlike traditional farming that can depend on season, water, space, location, sunlight, and many other external factors of bulk production; not so with direct farming. Instead, it will continue to produce a mass product if it meets all the preferences.
Disadvantages of Vertical Farming
Like everything else, Vertical Farming comes with its own set of problems. In this section, we will look at these aspects.
As you may know from this point on, direct farming is done in a controlled, indoor environment. Although this has many advantages, it also prevents the entry or arrival of insects. That means pollination is almost completely prevented.
In such cases, crops need to process pollen by hand. While this may seem like a possibility at first, hand pollen is often known to be very strong and stubborn. So, when it comes to the cost factor, this is one problem that may remain.
Developing new and advanced technologies can increase efficiency while reducing costs. Since direct farming depends on technology, it is possible to enjoy both of the benefits mentioned above.
However, vertical farming is not limited to using certain technologies. Instead, it depends on the level of lighting technology, temperature control, humidity control, and more.
Even a single issue of this technology can hinder the process of vertical plowing. For example, if a crop loses its strength in one day, it may cost more than a day’s produce.
Many others believe that our modern technology is not mature enough to be widely accepted. However, this is still disputed by some who believe that technology is evolving and will certainly benefit vertical farmers over time.
This is another problem that many economists have discussed. One of the biggest challenges with vertical farming lies in its ability to affect and disrupt a group of communities that are almost entirely dependent on agriculture.
Given the many benefits that come with it, direct farming can easily make conventional farming less efficient and more time-consuming. Therefore, families now living below the poverty line or currently in the poverty line may be more likely to suffer in this mode.
Many also preferred that Vertical Farming will lead to where urban agriculture will stand as a competition for conventional, rural agriculture. As this can affect several lives and communities, it is important to follow appropriate strategies.
Strategies need to be planned and implemented so that urban and rural dwellers can successfully switch to subsistence farming at a low cost. Government officials should also be encouraged to develop new laws and policies that will help to create this new agricultural practice.
Now that you have a good idea of the pros and cons of direct farming, you may want to take a look at this unique way of growing plants. While Vertical Farming comes with some disadvantages, its benefits certainly outweigh the disadvantages. So, don’t wait, check the gear you will need, and start plowing right away!