UA-CEAC NCERA Meeting

2022 NCERA-101 Annual | International Meeting

Indoor Ag-Con Marketing Partner, the  University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center , is pleased to invite you to attend the 2022 International Meeting of the NCERA-101 Committee on Controlled Environment Technology & Use. The conference is being held at the Marriott University Park Hotel located on The University of Arizona main campus, Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is home to The University of Arizona and is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, making it the first city in the United States of America to be honored with this designation.

Conference Registration 

Click HERE to register for the event. If you are coming with a spouse/partner (non-delegate) you may choose to include them in our Gala Dinner & Technical Tour day activities. Simply purchase Guest Gala Dinner and Technical Tour tickets for them to join these activities. Conference registration is separate from the hotel booking. Registration ends by 5 PM (MT) on August 22nd, 2022. 

Accommodations 

Meeting attendees are welcome to stay at Marriott University Park Hotel. If you choose to do so, please book your room by August 22nd, 2022 to take advantage of a discounted conference rate of $139 per night. The rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis, so we encourage attendees to make their reservations as soon as possible. Register for hotel rooms HERE 

Please see the full meeting program HERE 

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture Announces New Water Quality and Management Service

COE Erick Bandala
Dr. Erick Bandala to head new water quality and management service for Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture, a U.S. based company that supports the growth of the vertical and indoor farming industry, announced a new water quality and management service headed by Dr. Erick Bandala, an environmental scientist.

The new service focuses on the sustainable use of water for indoor vertical farms, greenhouses, and urban farms as well as water safety and quality. Services include water quality testing and assessment, contaminant identification and source assessment, wastewater treatment and reuse, and water treatment system identification and evaluation. Services also include advanced bacterial testing and analytics, as well as the detection of chemicals such as PFAS.

More info is available at https://indooragcenter.org/water-quality-management

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., Founder| Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence notes, “Water is the lifeblood of all farms. Having a quality water supply that is effectively managed is essential to running a sustainable, efficient, and safe indoor farm. The Center is proud to offer this service to the industry under the direction of Dr. Bandala.”

Dr. Bandala observes, “Indoor farms are well-known for saving significant amounts of water while growing plants compared to conventional farms. However, much less is known about how water use may affect indoor farm operations or the quality of the product. I am excited to join the Center to help indoor growers solve water quality-related problems, improve water efficiency and to reduce their overall use of water for operations.”

About The Center
The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture provides insights about the economics of indoor farming based on a careful analysis of industry data and from thought leaders in industry and academia. As the first U.S.-based Center of Excellence dedicated to indoor farming, it promotes best practices, bench-marking, new knowledge and research. Its annual Best in Class Indoor Farming Awards™ recognize top indoor growers and manufacturers. The Center is located in the Philadelphia metro region.

About Erick R. Bandala, Ph.D.
Dr. Bandala holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, an MSc in Organic Chemistry and BEng in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Bandala is author or co-author of nearly one hundred peer-reviewed papers in international journals, 5 books, 27 book chapters and 65 works published in proceedings of international conferences.

Unfold Announces Innovation Partner Program at Indoor Ag-Con

Program enables vertical farm leaders to collaborate and spur industry innovation

DAVIS, CA, Feb. 28, 2022 Unfold, a company that combines leading seed genetics with crop growing and agronomic expertise to advance the vertical farming industry, today announced the launch of its Innovation Partner Program. The program provides vertical farm leaders with access to Unfold’s leading plant biology expertise, digital tools and germplasm. Through industry collaborations, Unfold aims to address the challenges vertical farm operators face today while unlocking new sources of value.

Since launching in 2020, Unfold has been 100% dedicated to the indoor agriculture community, and has worked closely with industry leaders to improve operational efficiencies and create value for vertical farms through new seed varieties. In the past, seed offerings were not optimized for indoor growing conditions-with their precise environmental controls and specialized lighting – and therefore did not create an optimal end-product. Seeds developed specifically for indoor agriculture could help vertical farms reduce production costs by cutting down on time to harvest, for example, which in turn could reduce energy consumption levels thus improving on the cost of goods. Improved genetic offerings could also provide improved quality of the end produce, thus providing vegetables with broad consumer appeal. Working alongside industry leaders, Unfold will leverage its expertise in plant biology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to develop and launch products that improve our global food system.

“Through the Innovation Partner Program, we are looking to partner with industry leaders who see the value and opportunities that can come from R&D collaborations,” said John Purcell, CEO and President of Unfold. “As we continue to scale our business, we believe these deeper relationships will drive product innovation and solutions that will have tremendous value for our customers and the industry as a whole.”

The Innovation Partner Program illustrates how Unfold is making progress on establishing the long-term relationships necessary to be an important solutions provider globally and to further the indoor farming industry.

Trialing is already underway with multiple partners across three continents, and initial data is showing promising results, including the identification of multiple new varieties. As trialing continues, Unfold expects data sharing to accelerate time to market for new innovations at indoor farms.

“Seed genetics, plant science, data and digital solutions play a large role in bringing vertical farming mainstream,” said David Nothmann, Chief Operating Officer of Unfold. “That is why we are proud to work alongside the world’s vertical farm leaders to grow produce indoors more efficiently and most cost-effectively through our offering of premium seeds and agronomic insights.”

To learn more about our Innovation Partner Program please contact info@unfold.ag

About Unfold

Unfold is accelerating the “seed to table” capabilities of vertical farming with an integrated offering of superior seeds, digital services, and agronomic insight. Based in Davis, California, Unfold’s mission is to create a world where the freshest, most nutritious, and most delicious produce is available to every person on the planet. For additional information about Unfold or to hear about potential career opportunities, please visit our website at https://unfold.ag/.

Press Contact

Andrea Judson-Torres unfold@highwirepr.com

HP Now

EPA determines HPGen™ as a pesticide device for use in agriculture and industrial applications

Regulation under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

The system produces hydrogen peroxide using only air, water, and electricity. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the system as a pesticidal device under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Based on this determination, HPNow will now be expanding its activity in the United States and will be offering HPGen™ for the following uses:

  • Irrigation water treatment – for the mitigation of bio-foul and bio-film from irrigation lines, and plant protection
  • Postharvest treatment for fruits of vegetables, for post-harvest crop protection, and extension of shelf life
  • Livestock drinking water – for reduction of water-borne pathogens and improved animal health
  • Process water treatment – for mitigation of bio-foul, biofilm and pathogens in industrial process and cooling water lines

No input chemicals needed

FIFRA defines a device as “any instrument or contrivance . . . intended for trapping, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest or any other form of plant or animal life (other than man and other than bacteria, virus, or other microorganism on or in living man or other living animals).” EPA believes that HPGen™ is a device because it is intended for pesticidal purposes and relies on a physical process—electrolysis, oxygen and water in situ—to generate hydrogen peroxide (and does not require or use any chemical substance) to produce its pesticidal effect.

Case studies

Please refer to the case studies on our website to check out some examples of these applications, including a recent installation at a melon packing house, as well as improvements in livestock drinking water and industrial water treatment processes.

About HPNow

HPNow addresses growing global challenges in clean water and sanitation through its range of on-site, autonomous, safe and sustainable hydrogen peroxide generation solutions. Headquartered in Copenhagen, and with representation across Europe, the Americas and Asia, they address their clients’ water treatment needs in market segments ranging from agriculture and aquaculture, to industrial and drinking water treatment. HPNow is a technology and market leader in on-site generation of hydrogen peroxide, and is continuously striving to further advance its technology and products in order to meet growing market needs and rising global demand.

Stay in the loop by following HPNow on LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

Signify Horticulture Team Invites You To Kick Off 2022 Trade Show Season With Indoor Ag-Con

The excitement is building as Signify prepares to gather in Las Vegas for the 2022 Indoor Ag-Con (IAC), the premier trade show and conference encompassing all things related to indoor and vertical farming production. Focused on providing participants with the latest insights of how to optimize a vertical farming operation, the two-day conference is scheduled for February 28th to March 1st at the Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meet Signify at Indoor Ag-Con

Interested to learn how you can get a tailored LED lighting solution for your indoor grow facility? Stop by the Signify booth, #2018, where Philips LED lighting and Philips GrowWise Control System will be on display. Learn and see how Philips dynamic production modules give growers full flexibility and control over their lighting. Our team of experts will be available to discuss and advise how you can grow with more precision and profitability when incorporating Philips LED grow lights into your indoor grow facility.

Conference Spotlight: Controlled Environment Agriculture Lighting – Understanding Specs

Does industry jargon on LED lighting seem confusing to you? Then you won’t want to miss the educational session, Controlled Environment Agriculture Lighting, on Monday, February 28th at 10:00 AM PST. During this session, Blake Lange, Signify Business Development Manager for city farming, will be joined by a panel of industry leaders to discuss how to properly understand specs in lighting and what performance metrics to look for when you are ready to transition to LED lighting.

“I’m excited to be part of this educational session. There are several terms and performance metrics that can make the search for new lighting confusing and overwhelming. Participants are sure to find this session a great way to kick off their Indoor Ag-Con experience. Not only will it help them to navigate in a wide array of options from different lighting manufacturers, but it will also empower them to feel confident in their purchasing decisions for vertical farming grow lights,” says Lange.

Visit the Indoor Ag-Con website to register for the conference.

Quick Plug

Quick Plug: How BioStrate® Can Help With Your Growing Needs?

BioStrate® from Quick Plug: Biobased Propagation Felt continues to be a Premier food safe growing textile for Commercial Microgreen Growers and Hobbyist alike. Manufactured with 100% Biobased fibers, the BioStrate® Felt provides the optimal environment for dense healthy root development with efficient air and water management.

And after the microgreens are harvested, the BioStrate® 185gsm is certified industrial compostable allowing for sustainable environmental stewardship. With more than 10 million square feet delivered, the BioStrate® Felt is aconsistent media providing ongoing reliable benefits that growers trust.

The patented Hamama® Grow Kit and Seed Quilts® are innovations that incorporate the BioStrate® Felt and makes microgreen and micro herb production success super easy. The Hamama® Grow Kit with pre packaged,fully contained Seed Quilts® allows for the microgreens to be grown clean and safe without using unwanted soils,pesticides or fertilizers. Even for those without a “green thumb,”the grower simply has to add water to the tray and Seed Quilts® andthe seed germination begins! With 10 exciting microgreen varieties ,it is a fun way to eat healthy and fresh superfoods.

 

The BioStrate®: Biobased Propagation Felt was developed and is manufactured by Quick Plug in North America. At Quick Plug, we pride ourselves on finding solutions through close collaboration with the grower.
We design and manufacture stabilized growing media and specialized substrates for most any crop and culture practices.

Quick Plug growing media products are designed to reduce labor, boost root development and increase germination rates.

To learn more about the BioStrate,® microgreens and the Hamama® Grow Kit and Seed Quilts® please visit these websites: Hamama.com or Quickplug.global.

Carbon Book Launches Carbon Tool

CarbonBook Launches Carbon Calculation Tool for Indoor Agriculture

The platform offers the industry a standard for measuring, documenting and improving carbon footprint

CarbonBook℠ announced today that it has launched its flagship product — an easy-to-use software tool of the same name, that empowers indoor farms to become more sustainable and productive. This new product helps indoor growers, retailers, and input providers measure, document and improve their carbon footprints.

“Consumers, retailers, and investors are hungry for reliable sources of produce with reduced carbon footprints. Carbon score labeling is just around the corner,” remarked Daphne Preuss, CEO. “With CarbonBook, growers will be able to document their carbon footprint over time, using an ISO-compliant model. This opens the door to more sustainable indoor farming and will provide the validation needed for additional revenue streams through the sale of carbon credits.”

Developed specifically for Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA), the software takes a comprehensive and nuanced approach, including:

• Evaluating and monitoring CO2 emissions.
• Measuring carbon contribution from energy inputs, consumables, packaging, storage,
and transportation.
• Capturing benefits from biomass production, recycling and power generation.
• Providing reporting and data analysis

Designed to meet the highest industry requirements for carbon footprint products, the software uses the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and indoor agriculture- focused life cycle analysis to provide the most accurate carbon calculations available for indoor farming.

The software will be showcased to the industry for the first time at Indoor Ag Con in Las Vegas from February 28 to March 1.

About CarbonBook
CarbonBook℠ is a global leader in calculating greenhouse gas contributions from indoor farming. We assess and standardize carbon footprint calculations for produce grown indoors, from high-tech vertical farms to ordinary greenhouses. Our products enable growers, distributors, retailers, and input providers to track and improve carbon footprints, from seed to harvest to delivery. For more information, visit the company’s website at carbonbook.com.

XtremeLUX and Triple Ring Technologies Announce Collaborative Solution to the Biggest Problems Hampering Indoor Ag

Advanced spectrally-controlled lighting and biotech will combine to push indoor agriculture past the goal of economic sustainability.

 

XtremeLUX, a designer and supplier of advanced lighting systems for indoor farming, and Triple Ring Technologies, a co-development firm that helps innovators and entrepreneurs develop science-based technologies for a broad range of markets, will introduce at the Indoor Ag-Con Conference on Feb 28 in Las Vegas, an advanced solution for optimizing energy usage and for helping growers to creatively solve their biggest biotechnical problems. The heart of the technology is the customization of spectral inputs to the particular species and lifecycle stage of the plant; dramatically reducing energy usage, improving yield and quality, and enabling industry-sustaining economic benefits. Extreme spectrum control and integrated sensors provide extra tools for attacking pathogens, repelling bugs, detecting malnourishment, and solving many other problems.

Silicon Valley-based Triple Ring Technologies, is pleased to support XtremeLUX, including the exhibition of their technology at Indoor Ag-Con. “Triple Ring is excited about the potential for the XtremeLUX system and advanced spectral control to support the scaling of vertical farming,” said Joe Weber, Vice President for Strategic Markets at Triple Ring. “Our experience developing technology and products involving photonics, sensors, and complex systems in a broad range of markets including in the ag tech world have positioned us well to support startups such as XtremeLUX.” he continued.

“XtremeLUX is very thrilled to be exhibiting our fourth generation of products at Indoor Ag-Con this year. As we grow our partnerships in the vertical farming space and advance our product line, we are looking forward to enhancing the role of CEA in global agriculture.” said Chiamin Cheng, CEO of XtremeLUX.

About XtremeLUX

Founded in 2011, XtremeLUX has developed an innovative system of controlled lighting for the vertical farming and cannabis industries.  Based on their adaptive spectrum control capability, their systems have been adopted to great benefit by large-scale leafy green and cannabis growers and by researchers. XtremeLUX’s open lighting control interface is designed to be interoperable with industry-standard communication protocols, including Modbus, MQTT, and USB-to-I2C, for easy integration with previously installed climate control, power management, fertigation, and other systems.

About Triple Ring Technologies

Triple Ring Technologies is a co-development company headquartered in Silicon Valley, with offices in Boston, Toronto, and Copenhagen. They partner with clients in medtech, life sciences, and sustainability & the environment to create new technologies, launch innovative projects, and start new ventures. Their capabilities span early R&D, product development, manufacturing, regulatory approval, market access, strategic investment, and incubation. For more information, please visit www.tripleringtech.com.

Contact for XtremeLUX:  Chiamin Cheng, chiamin.cheng@xtremelux.com.  Contact for Triple Ring Technologies:  Tracy Li, tli@tripleringtech.com.

Niko Kivioja

Netled CEO Niko Kivioja: 5 Reasons Why Grocers Need Vertical Farming Partners

Walmart recently announced a big bang in the US grocery trade landscape: its investment in vertical farming start-up Plenty. With this, the retail giant is taking a step toward making high-quality, pesticide-free produce more accessible and affordable for the consumer.

What do they know that you don’t? Why should every grocer be scouting for vertical farming partners now and not later?

  1. The salad and fresh herb markets are growing

NetledSize does matter, and the size of the market for salad and leafy greens in the U.S. and Canada is approximately $15 billion and growing. And it will continue to grow with an estimated CAGR of 8.2% from 2021 to 2028.

Similar growth is expected in the spice and herb market where in North America alone, it is projected to grow at a CAGR 7.2% (2020 to 2025).

That is a lot of money available for leafy greens, herbs, and spices if you can guarantee your yield and deliveries.

But therein lies the problem.

  1. Food security

VeraThe COVID pandemic has shown us that the logistics involved in food transportation are extremely susceptible to disruption; perishable products in particular cannot be stored for long before the quality deteriorates to such an extent that they are no longer fit for sale.

The majority of the lettuces sold in North America are grown in California. So, if you buy a packaged lettuce in New York, it has probably already traveled 3000 miles. Any disruptions to this journey along the way only serve to weaken the quality of the product and its availability to the end customer.

In fact, over the past year, packaged leafy greens have been one of the top items missing from grocery shelves due to logistics and transportation challenges.

Vertical farming systems like Netled’s proprietary system Vera can ensure the availability of products due to their proximity to the store. A Vera system requires very little space and is significantly more efficient and reliable than traditional agricultural systems.

Vera systems produce:

  • 5 times more crops per comparable growing area
  • 15 times more per surface area compared to single-level high-efficiency year-round greenhouse growing.
  • 100 times more crops per surface area compared to the yield for a normal single season in open-field agriculture.

Vertical farming systems also remove the risks that other forms of agriculture are susceptible to such as unpredictable weather, disease, and pests.

 

  1. Food safety

The more stages there are in the food processing and distribution, the higher the chance of some form of contamination.

Fewer human contact points, precise control over irrigation, and the growing process result in less risk of contamination.

Every year in North America, 48 million foodborne illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3000 deaths are recorded. (CDC, 2013).

Bacteria and pathogen contamination in the production line almost always originates from the irrigation water used. Further risk of contamination comes from the washing of field-grown or greenhouse products after they are harvested.

Outdoor farming and most of the greenhouses perform triple-wash on the harvested plants in order to mitigate the contamination risk, as a post-harvest process.

Vera vertical farming systems are encapsulated in a precisely controlled environment where there is no contamination from external sources such as pests, fungi, or bacteria.

The Vera system uses 95% less fresh water for irrigation than open-field agriculture and the water it uses is captured from the plant respiration, purified, and fed back into the system ensuring no possibility of external contamination. The plants are not touched by humans during the growing process and therefore do not need to be washed after harvesting.

Harvesting and packaging can even be automated with robotics so that there is no physical contact with the plant at all.

  1. Labor costs

All this automation not only ensures the minimum possible amount of contamination, but it also reduces labor costs.

Vera vertical farming systems are less labor intensive in both the growing and harvesting processes. The extremely high level of automation in irrigation, plant spacing, nutrient delivery, and lighting requires less labor resources. Harvesting and packing can also be automated to a high level with the help of AI and robotics, and if the vertical farm is situated in close proximity to the store, logistic, and transportation costs are also reduced dramatically.

  1. Quality

Awareness and demand for healthy plant-based foods is growing. Salads are a good source of fiber, iron, calcium, potassium plus vitamins A, K, C, and E.

There are many factors that can affect the quality of the end product, not only in the processing stages of production, but also in the growing stage. Open-field growing is particularly susceptible to risk factors: extreme weather events such as torrential rain and drought, nutrient depletion and salination of the soil and the chemical fertilizers used to attempt to redress the balance, water infiltration rates, pesticides, herbicides, and chemical spraying to name a few.

Vertical farming systems operate in a precisely controlled environment where every last detail is planned, monitored, and controlled from seed to retail. There are no rainy days, no hot days, no pests or chemicals – everything is always just right

The Vera system is programmed according to the particular plant and the variables are adjusted so that it can grow to its own genetic maximum. This results in the highest possible quality with guaranteed results no matter what time of year or whatever the weather.

In case you’d like to learn more about your potential future vertical farming partner, come and meet Netled CEO Niko Kivioja and the rest of the team at Indoor AgCon booth 1023!

Niko Kivioja will also join a panel conversation on Direct Controlled Environment Agriculture Farming in Grocery Stores, Hotels & Restaurants on Monday, Feb 28th at 4:00 pm.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NETLED AND ITS VERA TECHNOLOGY:

W: NETLED.FI

NETLED VIDEO RESOURCES:

Introduction to Vera vertical farm

Netled featured on Advancements TV Series aired on CNBC

Netled CEO Niko Kivioja interview Vertical Farming Podcast

Netled CEO Niko Kivioja interview Crop Talk Podcast  

Rivulis C8100 Fertigation System-01 (002)

Scale Up Your Indoor Grow with Fertigation, Irrigation and Environmental Control by Rivulis 

Growing Indoors is Easy, right?

It sure was easy in the olden days if you produced only a handful of plants in your home. It was all manageable by hand and required only manual labor of love. However, expanding to grow commercially today requires thought, strategy, and most importantly, advanced automated technology to grow consistent premium crops and high yields. All are still produced with love but much more efficiently, consistently, and cost-effectively returning better crops and maximum profit. Indoor cultivation is an art. Adding automation is a scientific art backed by plant data.

When you think of automation, are you thinking no humans will be involved?

That’s not true at all; with automation, you’re eliminating the potential of human error in your indoor cultivation process. You’re taking out the inconsistency of hand watering and nutrient application—the manual management of lighting, humidity, CO2, and HVAC. You gain a more comprehensive view of your whole grow operations.

Commercial growers aim for consistency in their crop. The only way to repeat this turn after turn is with automated technology. Allowing growers to dial in their grow cycle with complete control of water and nutrient feed and precise environmental controls to maintain that profile, crop production and quality. Adding automation brings a considerable leap of innovation to your grow operations.

Rivulis has been at the forefront of helping farmers grow for the past 55 years with advanced drip and micro-irrigation technology and is bringing it indoors, assisting indoor growers in driving consistency and growth for higher yields and premium quality crops.

We offer the most comprehensive product portfolio in the industry with an extensive line of irrigation solutions and end-to-end automation projects for any crop in any climate. Our business is to help you grow bigger, better, and beyond. And we have been perfecting it for over five decades. Our expertise and automation technology can help YOU take your grow to the next level.

Amplify your grow power with Rivulis

Rivulis is the new standard in the industry that will help you push your grow into uncharted territory for premium crop and yield. The Rivulis C8100 precision fertigation system takes the guesswork out of your irrigation and feed programs with a user-friendly controller interface. Growers can easily program customized irrigation and nutrient feed schedules based on the plant’s needs. Giving them the exact amount of water and nutrients needed every time. The system comes with an EC/PH controls, so you can quickly and easily manage nutrient imbalances.

Taking your grow to the next level requires control of the growing environment. The C8100 system base model comes standard with the C4100 Irrigation Controller to manage your irrigation and fertigation needs. Add the C4100 Climate Controller for more control. The C4100 Climate is totally modular and works fantastically well with one, two, four up to an unlimited number of zones. Together, this platform is a powerful system to intelligently manage your indoor commercial grow, from lights, HVAC, CO2, temp/humidity control, and ventilation, all the way to the roots, with custom irrigation and feed programs.

Ready to take your grow to the next level? Visit us at the Indoor Ag-Con and talk to our experts about how to amplify your cultivation power. Find more information at www.rivulis.com.