“Controlled Environment Agriculture: Farming for the Future?” is a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, discussing the rapid growth in controlled environment agriculture.
“The rising demand for local, high-quality food and the need for a year-round supply of it is creating market opportunities,” said Christine Lensing, senior analyst for CoBank’s KED. “Although there is a steep learning curve, high cost and other barriers to CEA, this segment is likely to continue growing for the next five years.”
The report indicates the barriers cited by Lensing are not stopping CEA growers from entering the market at high rates partially due to the significantly higher yields and potential for price premiums the technology, including hydroponics, can provide.
“What has happened with tomatoes over the last 20 years, where about 50 percent of all domestic tomatoes are grown using CEA, is starting to happen in other industries,” Lensing said. “There are significant opportunities in leafy greens, microgreens, herbs and other novelties such as turmeric and ginger. However, as new ventures are coming online, they must be very aware of three things, the high cost of operating, fluctuations in the market and competition in this growing space.”
Click here for the report: “Controlled Environment Agriculture: Farming for the Future?”