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Indoor agriculture is an increasingly popular form of crop cultivation that happens inside. Where traditional farms rely on irrigation systems, soil and sunlight, indoor farms use LEDs or high pressure sodium lamps, and grow in hydroponic or aeroponic systems. Photograph: FarmedHere.
“We build farms that are sort of like Disneylands of farming,” he says.
By Lindsey Kratochwill
Dec 30, 2015
It’s not hard to find people who don’t believe that indoor farming is a panacea. In a presentation this September, Bruce Bugbee from Utah State University’s Department of Plants, Soils and Climate made the case that the fossil fuels needed to support the crops would add up to about $400,000 per acre. And even though lights are getting more efficient, the amount of solar panels needed would take up about five times the area as the cropland itself.
Lou Albright, professor emeritus at Cornell University estimated in a February 2014 presentation that each pound of lettuce created in an indoor farm would require about eight pounds of carbon dioxide.
But the indoor agriculture industry isn’t dissuaded. “You know, when they start colonizing Mars, they’re going to need vertical farms to help feed the people there,” Matros says.