What is the project all about?

Controlled environment agriculture (greenhouses and plant factories) can help meet the challenge of more intensive, profitable, and sustainable specialty crop production. The greenhouse industry is a well-established and important component of US agriculture, with a 2015 farm-gate value of ~$6.5 billion. For efficient year-round production in greenhouses, supplemental light is often beneficial, but the expenses can be high. The electricity required for supplemental lighting in greenhouses can account for up to 20-30% of variable costs.

What are our goals?

Our goal is to help CEA growers reduce production costs, while giving them more control over crop growth and quality. More cost-effective lighting approaches will reduce energy use and increase profitability. Manipulating light spectrum and intensity can be used to control crop growth and quality. Our overarching goal is to help growers make better lighting decisions and maximize the return on investment of their lighting systems. This requires integration of horticulture, economics, engineering, information technology, and social science.


Methodology

Our efforts are divided by subject area, but integration of these different efforts will be paramount.

Crop production

CROP GROWTH AND YIELD can be increased by optimizing 1) light spectrum, 2) light intensity and 3) light capture.


How do we know if we are successful?

Impact monitoring and evaluation will be used throughout the duration of the project to assess our progress and quantify the impact our work has on the controlled environment industry. We ask for your help with this. There are parts of this website where you may be asked to provide feedback. Please help us help you by telling us what you think!


Who are we trying to reach?

Our target audience consists of:

What do we hope to achieve?

Expected outcomes include:

Short-term