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GrowPura increasing the productivity and profitability of vertical farming

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Agri-TechE

GrowPura Limited has developed the world’s first automated, moving conveyor system for vertical farming that operates in a patented ‘Clean Room’ environment. The company will be discussing the benefits of the system in the 2023 Innovation Hub at the Royal Norfolk Show.

The GrowPura® technology maximises the use of space and reduces input costs. Plants are grown in a vertical hydroponic system with multilevel stacked trays. These move within a bio-hall and are continuously monitored to ensure each tray receives optimum light for growth.

Reducing inputs

As 95% of the water used is recycled it uses a fraction of the water required for field irrigated crops with no runoff.

All aspects of the environment – atmosphere, irrigation, level of lighting, humidity and temperature – can be calibrated to the crop to maximise production efficiency.

The system also uses less energy than conventional vertical farming systems. For example, it uses 50% less LED lighting and requires 50-75% less space. This results in significantly higher output compared to static hydroponic vertical farming methods.

CEA - Indoor farming - A clean room environment and regular monitored creates products with much longer shelf life and far better quality CREDIT Growpura

Clean Room environment

All operations – propagation, growing and packing – take place within the clean room environment which uses filtered air and integrated barrier controls to remove the need for pesticides or washing. This means that crops have a longer shelf life once harvested.

The GrowPura® technology improves the economics and reduces the environmental impact of vertical farming while improving the quality of food produced.

The patented technology is available for licensing and turnkey solutions for vertical farming companies.

More about GrowPura


GrowPura is appearing in the Innovation Hub at the 2023 Royal Norfolk Show.
Read more about the 2023 Innovation Hub >>

Innovation Hub 2023

2023 Innovation Hub

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

The Royal Norfolk Show will take place on Wednesday 28 – Thursday 29 June 2023 at Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Norwich, NR5 0TT.

Tickets are on sale now.

The Royal Norfolk Show was established to showcase new farming practices and technologies, with the 2023 Innovation Hub showcasing emerging agri-tech, allowing Agri-TechE members to engage with farmers, business and the public sharing their innovations and raising the profile of agri-tech.

The Royal Norfolk Show 2023 Innovation Hub, curated by Agri-TechE and sponsored by BBRO, is looking at technologies that can detect issues (crop stress, disease risk, performance) sooner, and use resources (heat, light, water) more efficiently, to reduce waste, increase resilience and optimise productivity in food production.

Some of the exhibitors include:

2023 Innovation Hub

Manage plant stress and performance – Gardin

Gardin’s technology provides an early indication of plant stress by measuring the photosynthetic performance of the plant, growing in a vertical farm or greenhouse. The system uses a robotic sensor to monitor the crop in real time.

Gardin will be discussing how the system provides growers with insights into plant health that can easily be actioned, improving yields and quality, and lowering costs.

Read more.

Early alert of disease for arable crops – Fotenix

Fotenix uses a patented spectral camera and light setup to provide early warning of disease in oilseed rape (OSR) and wheat crops. The monitor can be mounted on a tractor or robot, enabling early detection and intervention before significant losses.

The system has been shown to be capable of detecting light leaf spot and phoma in OSR and septoria in wheat in days, compared to months by traditional methods. Through continuous monitoring it can also provide evidence of disease control or re-emergence post-application.

Fotenix is currently looking for more partners to trial its system or integrate it within existing machinery across plot trials and horticulture.

Read more.

Protect sheep with tracking tech – Movetech Telemetry / UEA

No more lost sheep with lightweight, low-cost devices developed by Movetech Telemetry. Originally developed for tracking birds, the devices provide information on livestock movement, alerting farmers to any changes in behaviour, which can indicate theft, disease, or loss.

Sensors and monitors for sugar beet – BBRO

Sugar beet is an important crop and innovation at BBRO is enabling farmers to reduce reliance on plant protection products. Trials include in-field spore detection units, crop sensors for humidity levels at crop leaf stage, carbon sequestration and pheromone traps for monitoring specific moths. It will showcase how it monitors in-field activity and shares that with growers.

Read more about BBRO’s work with novel spore detectors.

MoveTech in the 2023 Innovation Hub

Pick the winners by profiling a leaf – LGC Genomics

10 percent of raspberry plants produce yellow fruits that are not commercially acceptable, but it can take years to identify those plants. With LGC Genomics’ technology, farmers and breeders can analyse the leaves to determine the genotype and find out quickly which plants have markers for yellow fruit.

LGC Genomics will also enable farmers to determine which of their varieties have the greatest resilience to local conditions and to accelerate breeding programmes.

Read more.

Deep Geothermal energy offers decarbonising solution – CeraPhi Energy

CeraPhi Energy specialises in Deep Geothermal heat exchange technology. It is the leading company in this field, and the first to offer an end-to-end solution from securing finance to full development and energy production.

Unlike solar or wind power, which is variable, geothermal energy can be harnessed consistently, 24/7 for heating, cooling and power. This sustainable energy solution could enable UK farming to become import independent within ten years. The development of a new heat network for agriculture is supported by the Environment Agency and is part of the BEIS British Energy Industrial Strategy.

CeraPhi Energy will be discussing how generating clean energy from land wells offers a business opportunity for farmers.

Read more.

Lights, microgreens and mushrooms – Kroptek

Kroptek provides all-round support from bespoke, quality LED grow lights to complete solutions. All fully customisable and tailored to the crop and environment to ensure cost-effective, optimal growing conditions.

Kroptek has developed systems for mushrooms and microgreens. Mushroom farm La Boite A Champignon, based in Paris, supplies ‘grow at home’ boxes for consumers, and Wesh Grow produces hyper-local, high-end produce in urban controlled environments.

Maximise space and yield with lower CapEx and OpEx – GrowPura

GrowPura has developed the world’s first automated, moving conveyor system for vertical farming that operates in a patented ‘Clean Room’ environment.

The GrowPura® technology maximises the use of space and reduces input costs. Plants receive the optimum light for growth and as 95% of the water used is recycled, it uses a fraction of the water required for field irrigated crops with no runoff.

Read more about GrowPura’s automated, moving conveyor system for vertical farming.

next generation vertical farm technology

Save the spud from more sprays – The Sainsbury Laboratory

Withdrawal of chemical fungicides has put pressure on the potato industry as late blight disease continues to threaten crops. Some wild varieties of potato are resistant to blight but don’t have the same eating qualities as the popular Maris Piper.Work by the Jonathan Jones’ group at The Sainsbury Laboratory has provided Maris Piper with blight resistance genes from their wild relatives to create PiperPlus. This game changing variety is resistant to late blight which greatly reduces the need for chemicals, plus it has traits that will make it easier to store without losing product quality.

Exciting developments in this field continue, potentially enabling the growth of seed potatoes in warmer climates and allowing England to produce its own seed potatoes. Disease-resistant traits will also be conferred to other valued potato varieties in the UK, including Charlotte – the home grower’s favourite – and Hermes, which is important for making crisps.

More about work at the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Exploring agricultural opportunities through space-tech – Space East

Increasingly satellite-enabled technologies are being used to advance farming practices. Satellite navigation systems can steer tractors and direct precision application of fertiliser, whilst earth observation data provides agricultural intelligence to map plant and soil health. The growing potential and value of these technologies is vast and a focus for Space East, the UK’s newest space cluster, bringing together leaders from across the East of England to develop and champion exciting new opportunities in space technology. 

More about Space East.

Paludiculture – innovation for lowland peat – NIAB

NIAB will be highlighting the challenges in lowland peat landscapes (balancing productivity, CO2 emissions and biodiversity); defining and demonstrating what paludiculture is and how its sustainable products could become part of our everyday lives in the future.

Read more.

Paludiculture

Next-gen vertical farming, sensors and energy generation showcased to US Midwest State Legislators

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

Senators and Representatives from US Midwest state legislatures saw ‘next-generation’ vertical farm technology at GrowPura Limited and on-farm energy production in Fenland as part of a visit hosted by Agri-TechE along with the Department for International Trade (DIT) on 14th March 2023.

Midwestern Office initiate visit

The mission was initiated by the British Consulate-General, Chicago in partnership with the Council of State Governments Midwestern Office (CSG Midwest). Chicago Consul General Alan Gogbashian explained: “We want this visit to focus on showcasing the UK’s leadership in agriculture, agri-tech and the energy transition from fossil fuels, as these themes have special resonance for the Midwest.”

The delegation, which included State Senators and State Representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, joined members of the Agri-TechE ecosystem for discussions and dinner at the historic Madingley Hall, just outside Cambridge.

Cutting-edge technologies

Growpura operates under automated, clean-room conditions

This was followed the next day by field visits, accompanied by DIT, to GrowPura Limited, developers of advanced vertical farm technology, and FC Palmer & Sons, a Fenland farm that has made a significant investment in sustainable energy production.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE, comments: “We are honoured to welcome this high-level delegation to showcase some of the great innovation in our ecosystem, from energy generation on-farm to alternative approaches to food production, and the use of sensors for precision agriculture. These are common themes which unite agriculture across the globe and they require appropriate regulation to deliver the intended impact. We are looking forward to seeing how the legislators in the US are approaching these cutting-edge technologies and enabling them to be used across these states.”

Optimising space and reducing inputs

GrowPura Limited has developed the world’s first automated, moving conveyor system for vertical farming that operates in a patented ‘Clean Room’ environment.

The GrowPura® technology aims to maximise use of space and reduce input costs. Plants receive the optimum light for growth and as 95% of the water used is recycled, it uses a fraction of the water required for field irrigated crops with no runoff. GrowPura aims to reduce the environmental impact of vertical farming while improving the quality of food produced and its economic benefits.

Jeremy McNamara, Chief Commercial Officer for GrowPura, comments that vertical farming is complementary to field and undercover cropping but has particular benefits for year-round growing of leafy greens, herbs and some berries. “Vertical farming has an important role in food security and could, with enough investment, provide a sustainable source of locally grown produce direct to the market. This would help alleviate many of the issues we’ve seen recently in the supply-chain.”

The other technology companies attending the dinner included: Delta-T Devices, specialists in precise real-time environmental measurement; Sencrop, developer of networked weather stations; Smartbell, developers of an ‘internet of cows’ for monitoring livestock; and NIAB, the centre for plant research, crop evaluation and agronomy.

 

US Midwest State Legislators visit UK

The attendees of the dinner at Madingley Hall