The future of urban city farming was discussed at AgriFoodLCA, The 1st Life Cycle Assessment Conference for Agriculture and Food in Melbourne on 24th of November.
Hosted by the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS), the national peak body for LCA professionals, the conference featured Powerplants’ Technical Supervisor and Product Manager for LED Lighting Tony Bundock.
He shared the latest developments in LEDs in city farming in his presentation ‘Vertical farming – the future of high performance crop management’.
“We asked Tony to present at our conference, as vertical farming exhibits some interesting life cycle characteristics” says former ALCAS President Rob Rouwette. “Artificial lighting obviously requires energy, while on the other hand water and nutrients can be administered with virtually no waste.”
“The system as a whole will open up a whole new world of opportunities in growing in non-traditional areas and structures,” explains Tony.
“Stacking plant beds upward instead of outward allows farms to be built in dense urban areas. LEDs use less than half the power of fluorescent lights and run cooler but prices have been historically high. Latest developments see costs come down, and we are also getting better at finding the optimal light colours for each plant.”
As part of its commitment to the development of urban city farming, Philips has just installed a large demonstration GrowWise centre at its Netherlands hub. Philips’s city farming group aims to create modular, scalable systems to simplify construction of vertical farms. The group has nearly tripled in manpower this year, and Philips plans to expand and invest further through 2016. Learn more about the project by watching this video.