AeroFarms and Dell Team Up to Revolutionize Farming with IoT

By Ken Briodagh October 20, 2017

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the future of farming in Newark, New Jersey, thanks to Dell and AeroFarms. AeroFarms is a future agriculture company building indoor, vertical farms that use “aeroponics” to generate yields that are 120 times more productive per acre, per year than a traditional, outdoor farm. Aeroponics is a system of farming which uses no dirt, and only very little water, combined with nutrients, to grow plants. Dell is helping AeroFarms monitor growing conditions, perform analytics and identify harvest quality.

AeroFarms has said it is trying to transform agriculture using technology to build more sustainable, more environmentally responsible and higher producing farms throughout the world, with a focus on local, meaning within 100 miles of the eater. It is currently operating several farms and selling leafy greens to a variety of major retailers, including the largest farm in the world, measured by amount of produce grown per acre, according to the company.

The farms are established on major distribution routes and near population centers in order to stay local, while the indoor nature of the growing spaces are designed to defy traditional growing seasons by enabling local farming at commercial scale all-year round. The produce is monitored using Dell technology from seed to package, so each can be traced for quality control and improvement. Meanwhile, each farm is using 95 percent less water than field farmed-food and with yields 130 times higher per square foot, each year.

“AeroFarms is redefining agriculture combining world-class expertise for horticulture, engineering, food safety, nutrition, and data science to set a new standard for product quality and production,” said David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO, AeroFarms. “We are as much a capabilities company as we are farmers, utilizing science and technology to achieve our vision of totally-controlled agriculture. We have worked closely with Dell Technologies to develop the tools to wirelessly track and monitor our product throughout the growing process from seed to package. Dell Technologies understands our IoT infrastructure and integration needs, and we see the opportunity to collaborate on additional solutions as we build our indoor vertical farms in major cities around the world.”

The company recently began growing at its ninth farm, located at its new global headquarters in Newark, NJ. AeroFarms also has additional grow sites in development in multiple US states and on four continents.

Agriculture like this, as enabled by IoT technology, is likely to represent the future of farming in the future, and is likely to be one of the many ways that IoT will improve and enhance society moving into the future. 

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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