Plant Factory

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  • A word for a Controlled Environment Agriculture system that is large enough, and has enough throughput to be considered a factory
  • It is cost competitive, if not superior for, localized (ie not international shipping) as of now for ( Micro- ) Greens and sprouts
  • This is counter intuitive, but due to the preference for shorter, faster growing plant varieties, and high edible/usable mass (ie little non-crop leaf mass, giant fruit, little to no stem, etc) this is why leafy greens work so well. The entire plant short of roots is sold, and the desired size is perfect for fitting in Stacked Grow Tray Runs
  • Outside of those currently successful categories, those requirements mean that much of it's success in other categories depends on Selective Breeding and Genetic Engineering of plants to better suit the process
  • However Plant Factories are also interesting in that they make for great laboratories for testing these new varieties; all conditions can be varied, and high throughput means lots of possible tests/samples
  • They Typically use Vertical farming , Grow Lights , Agricultural Atmosphere Enrichment , Hydroponics / Aeroponics / Aquaponics , and HVAC
  • Thus are rater energy intensive, but are often paired with solar and/or biomass power generation
  • They also can be placed anywhere, even on mobile platforms such as cargo ships and IMCs
  • Many are in Asia, partially due to the local market, but also because of surplus Cleanrooms from the tech industry that are easily converted to the role of Plant Factories
  • Plants are also grown in a sterile (Or only with selected beneficial microorganisms) environment and thus have longer shelf life
  • If paired with Controlled Atmosphere Storage, Refrigeration, Food Irradiation, Preservatives, Food Drying, or some combination of these shelf life would be almost irrelevant
  • Also they use NO PESTICIDES, little water (due to the Closed Loop nature; no evaporative losses or wastewater), and low nutrient use (Especially if using aquaponics)
  • Since Location becomes Irrelevant (Outside of Cost), transportation can be reduced (re: Food Miles , and farmland can be [[Rewilded | returned to wildland] or developed, thus saving land without interfering with the food supply

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