Review of Renewable Energy, Work Labor, Costs, and Food Quality and Production to Evaluate the Potential of Vertical Farming in New Hampshire

Reczko, Mallory
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Southern New Hampshire University
Vertical farming provides a different way to produce crops. The research focuses on indoor vertical farming and the use of renewable energy sources and efficient light sources. The goal of the study is to understand the differences between vertical farming and basic agriculture, and which one is more efficient for the environment and growing population of New Hampshire. Could vertical farming be the future of cleaner, faster, and more reliable agriculture? The research provides a comparison of categories of collected data between vertical farms and basic agriculture. Categories include land use, water use, pesticides, work labor and robots, production rate, energy used, light sources, and quality of food. Wheat yield in vertical farming is projected to be 70 kg m−2 y−1 and lettuce is over 200 kg m−2 y−1, compared to the current world average; 0.3 kg m−2 y−1 for wheat yields and 2.2 kg m−2 y−1 for lettuce yields (all negative numbers here are superscripts). If land used for basic agriculture is used for vertical farming, more land than provided is expected to be required for wind energy and PV energy. However, in vertical farming the control of pests is expected to be much more attainable than in basic agriculture. Potential limitations include possible false projections due to climate change. Further research is required to better understand the role climate change plays in vertical farming, expenses for vertical farming, crops viable from vertical farming, and if it’s possible for vertical farming practices to be implemented worldwide.