Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
The LED-powered racks rise 15 levels high and are housed within an old Sony Corp semiconductor factory
Could this be the future of agriculture?
A physiologist has turned a former semiconductor factory into one of the world’s largest indoor farm, cultivating lettuces with LED lights.
At almost half the size of a football pitch, the farm, which opened in Japan in July, is already churning out 10,000 lettuce heads a day, the brains behind it say.
Plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura wanted to explore ways that man could keep up with the ever-increasing food demand while bypassing the risks brought on by drought, crop disease and natural disasters.
“I knew how to grow good vegetables biologically and I wanted to integrate that knowledge with hardware to make things happen,” Mr Shimamura said.
The climate controlled room is powered by LED fixtures that emit light at wavelengths – the most ideal for plant growth – while also giving the ‘farmers’ power to control the night and day cycles.
The lights were built by American multinational General Electric (GE), which detailed the farm within a self-produced publication.
The farm reportedly produces lettuces 2.5 times faster than outdoor fields “What we need to do is not just setting (sic) up more days and nights,” Mr Shimamura added. “We want to achieve the best combination of photosynthesis during the day and breathing at night by controlling the lighting and the environment.”
The lights give them the ability to control temperature, humidity and irrigation, allowing it to cut its water usage to 1 per cent of that needed by outdoor fields, while also growing lettuces two-and-a-half times faster, the experts claim.
The farm comprises of 17,500 LED lights on “18 cultivation racks reaching 15 levels high,” GE says.
The Japan arm of the corporation said it hopes that indoor farms such as this one in the Miyagi Prefecture, which was badly damaged by the powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011, could solve food shortages in the world.
“Finally, we are about to start the real agricultural industrialization,” Mr Shimamura said.
GE isn’t the only electrical firm trialling the new method. Philips has partnered with Green Sense Farms, an Indiana-based vertical farm which produces herbs, leafy greens and lettuces using LED lights.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...