scientist shaded in pink lighting examines plants grown in a controlled environment

Managing controlled environments efficiently

In *All, Agricultural Systems, Food Security, Urban and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) by AgIsAmerica

In controlled environmental agriculture, plants are grown inside a greenhouse or other type of enclosure where growers can maintain optimal growing conditions, such as light, temperature, humidity, water, and nutrients. In the northeastern climate, controlled environments play a vital role in year-round production, but growers need more information about how to fine-tune their environments to achieve optimal plant growth and quality with the fewest possible resources. As new technologies emerge, growers need to know whether these tools are technically and financially feasible and how to use them correctly. Optimizing controlled environment production conserves water and energy, lowers
production costs, and makes it possible to grow plants year-round in areas with harsh climates and extreme weather.

Twenty-four researchers from land-grant universities across the U.S. are working together to develop practices and tools that help growers manage controlled environment resources efficiently. Growers who have adopted recommended facility designs, management practices, and tools have seen energy savings of 5% to 30% and average-sized businesses have saved $20,000 per year in operating and maintenance costs. Many of the technologies developed by members of this project are now industry standards and are widely used.

Source: Multistate Research Fund Impacts Program

Read the full impact report here.

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