Software has become more and more prevalent in Vertical Farming. Let’s take a look at how:
Technology has developed to the point where lighting adjusts automatically based on crop lifecycle. Dutch company Philips Lighting recently introduced this as ‘light recipes’. This can help increase crop yields and reduce operating costs, optimising energy efficiency by using up to 85% less energy than typical LED lighting. When paired with apps to optimise lighting and store data, growing efficiency and energy usage can be monitored and optimised to increase yield and save costs.
Apps have been developed whereby farmers can save the farming condition settings. This means that you can set the lighting, temperature, humidity and soil pH levels in your vertical farm warehouse and not have to worry about them for a while. Many offer a real time video overview of plants, and some will even notify you when it is time to harvest your crops, its almost like playing a farm simulation game. FarmHand is an example of such an app.
In addition to remote sensors, apps are available to notify you of any changes or updates to a crop, such as a drop in ph level of the soil, temperature or maybe even a bulb going. It provides information more quickly and more accurately than what you may be able to see with the naked eye, particularly if a vertical farm is too high to reach.
Finally, apps are being developed that help you store and manage data from previous crop cycles to ensure trends are being noticed and efficient farming conditions can be adopted.