Just a few short years ago, almost no one knew what agtech was. But today, agricultural technology – from vertical farming to data science – is the new hot thing. In 2017 alone, total investment was over $1.5 billion – a new record for the industry, and one that's setting the stage for explosive growth.
Last month, the talented team at Growlink convened in Las Vegas for the most significant cannabis show in the states. Organized by the editors of MJBizDaily, MJBizCon is the largest gathering of cannabis business professionals in the world. With an estimated 35,000 attendees, it's a must-attend event for vendors looking to grow their business.
Hydroponic growing has certain inherent advantages. Plants grown in a nutrient solution will mature up to 25 percent faster and deliver up to 30 percent more yield than plants grown in soil. Wireless IOT systems are a key element of achieving these kinds of results.
According to one recent report, the aeroponics segment will experience growth of over 21 percent from 2017 to 2024—the largest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of any vertical farming segment. The report explains the reason for this growth: “Nearly any plant can be successfully grown using aeroponic systems, especially vegetables. The plants grown by using aeroponics grow faster, yield more, and are generally healthier than those grown in soil.”
Commercial growers looking for productivity and predictability have long turned to the greenhouse as the best means to establish a stable growing environment.
Greenhouses “offer higher efficiency and lower operating costs, allow for the sun as a primary light source, and are designed for better precision technology controls,” experts note.
Growers looking to boost productivity can leverage hydroponics to enhance their operations. Automation can help them take it a step further, improving yields while simplifying operations and adding new levels of efficiency.
To understand how technology can enhance a hydroponic growing system, it’s best to start with the basics: What is hydroponic farming and what advantages does it offer?
For many startup cannabis growers, a grow tent offers an agile and economical way to get a crop under cultivation quickly and easily. To make the most of a grow tent, though, it makes sense to adopt the latest technologies.
In order to understand just how sensors and automation can leverage a grow tent’s inherent advantages, it is important to start with the basics. Let’s take a look at what a grow tent is and why you might want to use one. Then we can dig into the how and why of monitoring technologies and agro-management tools.
Expanding an indoor farm from a single small room to multiple grow rooms can create—for lack of a better expression—some growing pains. Entrepreneurs often find that what works in a small grow room with a few plants doesn’t work in larger grow rooms. The environment is harder to control. Precise nutrient recipes are harder to hand-mix. And it’s harder to do it all with so many things pressing for time and attention.