The new generation of vertical farms looks different. Walking into an iFarm facility with the latest StackGrow automation
feels like something from an episode of Star Trek, with LED-lit racks that are like sophisticated conveyor belts, slowly shifting and spacing the trays as the green shoots grow into succulent greens. But perhaps the coolest tech is behind the scenes: the AI-driven software that optimizes everything, leading to game-changing improvements in yield and resource savings. This technology can increase a standard vertical farm’s production by 50% per square meter of space, reduce electricity costs by up to 30%, and drop labor costs by 12%.
Agri-tech investment is growing by leaps and bounds, and many farmers are familiar with some level of software-enabled automation in greenhouses and indoor farms. But iFarm’s StackGrow technology is on the cutting edge of farm tech which is now approaching total automation. StackGrow is essentially an IT-driven solution with a hardware front end made up of fully automated conveyors, lights, irrigation and climate systems, as well as fresh, pesticide-free greens. On the backend is iFarm’s software platform, Growtune
. In addition to the actual automation software, they have spent years collecting big datasets that generate precisely calibrated ‘growth recipes’ with the help of machine learning.