IoT- based technology is empowering produce farmers to dish the dirt in favor of hydroponics. Hydroponics enables plants to be grown indoors, which completely obviates the need for soil. Furthermore, no sunlight is required and significantly less water is used in comparison to traditional farming. By utilizing specially connected LED lights, growers can control different aspects of the planting and growing process. Through connected technologies they can remotely engineer elements of the plants, including size and flavor. By some estimates, hydroponic plant growers state that they can take a seed from an outdoor farm and grow it into a full plant in half the time. In addition to the control and the resource savings, the increase in productivity per square foot compared to a traditional field farm are enormous. The following is an excellent real world example of this.
AeroFarms is transforming the concept of a traditional, sprawling, outdoor field of greens into an efficient, IoT-controlled, indoor, vertical grow house. Owned by Dream Holdings and based in Newark, NJ, AeroFarms aims to revolutionize how we grow produce such as kale, arugula and watercress. This alternative approach, called vertical farming, combines data science with horticulture and involves growing produce indoors, on shelves stacked seven levels high, without soil or sun but with a megadose of LED lighting and automation technology.