Image Source: Pipp Horticulture
As part of our Insights from Glens Falls Vertical Farm series, we’ve collaborated with the farm’s mobile storage solution partner, Pipp Horticulture, to bring you transparent insights to help indoor growers in their journey towards setting up their own vertical farm.
For this week, we asked Curtis Dadian, Director of Business Development of Pipp Horticulture: How should a vertical farm think through their vertical mobile racking system selection? This is what Curtis had to say:
Indoor crop cultivation methods vary quite a bit depending on a number of variables including location, size/scale of the grow, target markets or consumers, cultivars, and available resources or budget. With a seemingly unquenchable demand for higher-level premium product, indoor farming is quickly becoming the standard, as it allows for optimal control throughout the entire production cycle.
Vertical Farm Industry’s Preference for Mobile Racking System
Once a decision is made based on the factors mentioned above, the next question is centered on choosing between single-level rolling benches vs. a multi-level vertical mobile racking system. Without a doubt, and now with more than 5 years of large-scale commercial multi-level (LED) grow facilities operating throughout North America, the vertical canopy-increasing mobile racking model has become the growing method of choice for many committed indoor growers.
Managing a Vertical Mobile Racking System
Growing vertically, with layers of grow levels stacked on top of one another, presents its own unique set of challenges. Of course, the increased canopy space (sometimes 2, 3 or ever 4X vs. single-level benches) gained when deploying a mobile vertical racking system adds incredible value through increased production within a fixed facility footprint. However, skill and proper guidance in handling microclimates, upper-level access, workflow, airflow, energy & HVAC requirements, safety measures and more become critical.
Take some time to speak to your vendors who have exposure to many different facilities through their installed customer base and ask for referrals or an introduction, or even site tours, to review and learn from other successful operations. A quality supplier should be more than willing and able to leverage their network of customer and partner suppliers to help you create a world-class operation.
You can also follow more insights from our partnership with Glens Falls and others committed to the Glens Falls Vertical Farm Public Pilot here. As we ramp up production, we’ll be sharing even more detailed insights, which could help your vertical farm.
Pipp Horticulture is the industry leading provider of mobile vertical farming systems with systems installed in over 400 indoor cultivation facilities totaling over 2,000 grow rooms in 45 states and provinces across North America! Our mobile grow racks allow cultivators to maximize space in cultivation production and post-harvest processing facilities. Implementing Pipp’s mobile racks will increase production by maximizing cubic canopy footprint without increasing the square footprint of the room or building.