“Vertical farming is here, and it’s here to stay,” says Joe D. D’Angelo, senior vice president for business development for the state of Georgia.
They are a very, very efficient way to grow a wide range of crops and animals and produce food.””
Verticals are not just an extension of the traditional farmer; they’re a way of life for most people, whether they live in a rural area or a city.
They are a very, very efficient way to grow a wide range of crops and animals and produce food.”
The new crop, D’ Angelo says, is the state’s “gold standard” of vertical farming, a term that encompasses crops like wheat, corn and soybeans, as well as livestock and crops that require less water and less fertilizers.
The crop, he says, has a high yield, with yields approaching those of other vertical farms.
It’s been growing in popularity for the past year, with the state currently boasting about 40 to 50 vertical farms operating in Georgia.
But for those farmers who want to use the new crop to their advantage, there are challenges to overcome.
In order to be certified as vertical, a farmer must first prove to state officials that they’ve been growing the crop for less than two years.
But for some vertical farmers, the USDA requires more than a year of continuous farming to meet the requirements.
That, Dampier says, can mean months of waiting for the USDA to release the certification, or even months for the crop to mature.
For many farmers, that delay can lead to crop failures.
“It’s an expensive process to go through, it is a very time-consuming process,” Dampers says.
“You have to pay to certify, and you have to wait for the certification process to be finalized.”
One state agency, the Department of Agriculture, has also come to the rescue for some growers, providing funding for vertical farmers to install new equipment, as they look to be ready for their first harvest.
But the USDA has come under fire for its slow pace to approve the technology.
In addition to state funding, the state is also working with companies like Green Cross to offer the benefits of vertical agriculture to small farmers.
The company provides a growing list of certifications and certifications of vertical farmers including a certificate of organic farming, as Dampiers says.
But it also offers a variety of training and certification services, including crop rotation and water management, and training in aquaponics, hydroponics, agroforestry, and agroecology.
“A lot of people say that it’s a ‘solution in search of a problem,’ but it really doesn’t solve a lot of the problems,” says Dampiest.
“We’re looking to the marketplace to solve some of the real problems that exist, like how to grow crops in more sustainable ways.”
Georgia is just one of several states that have embraced vertical farming.
The U.K., Ireland, and Canada are among other countries that have recently been testing the waters with vertical farming programs.
And Dampily says that vertical farming is already taking off across the U., particularly in urban areas.
“In urban areas, we’ve seen a lot more adoption of vertical farms, and I think there are lots of examples of how that’s playing out,” D’Angelo says.