Our VP & Head of Horticulture, David Kessler, was recently featured in Analytical Cannabis along with our CEO, Raymond Nobu Chang talking about our Vertical Farming Unit Technology and Agrify Insights™ Software.
“Obviously, the better controlled the environment is, the better results you can expect,” Chang tells Analytical Cannabis.
And as the CEO of Agrify, a developer of hardware and software grow solutions for indoor agriculture, Chang knows a thing or two about how to keep plant environments consistent.
“Typically, people tend to just offer piecemeal solutions,” he says. “You have the LED lights suppliers, you have people that just do grow racks, and people who just do environmental control. And when we actually go out and talk to the customers, they’re very frustrated, because it’s actually difficult to put all these pieces together.”
As a solution to this lack of control, Agrify provides its customers with an all-in-one, compact agriculture unit. At around 9 feet tall, 8 feet long, and 4 feet wide, these cultivator crates are designed to be a lot easier to manage and manipulate than the vast greenhouses many growers are accustomed to. And Chang says that clients have even achieved 29 percent more total cannabinoids and a six-fold increase in yield per square foot compared to conventional systems.
“This is essentially a climate-controlled growth chamber,” David Kessler, vice president of horticulture at Agrify, tells Analytical Cannabis. “By reducing space in which cannabis is cultivated, we can more closely and granularly control that internal environment. And having the exact same environment allows a cultivator to have the same results time and time again.”
This level of control is aided by the many pieces of lighting and irrigation equipment that come with Agrify’s units.
“Extremely efficient LED lighting is introduced, not just above the plant, but actually inside of the plant canopy to reduce the distance the light travels and make it more efficacious,” Kessler says, “[the units are] constantly enriching the air with CO2, circulating that air and conditioning it back to the environmental setpoint.”
But when these tools are sealed inside a bookcase-size box, how exactly can cultivators control them? Fortunately, there’s no need to climb inside just to adjust a light. Instead, sensors within the unit record over 100,000 data points per growth cycle, which inform the automated lights and irrigation systems how to respond.
“Inside of each chamber, you have its independent environmental control system, which is controlled by custom built software, Agrify Insights, [which] is a huge piece of equipment,” Kessler explains. “It’s an incredibly powerful tool.”
“Essentially, you have the systems-engineered software and hardware solution together controlling the environment. It controls the temperature, the humidity, the vapor pressure deficit, by extension the CO2 levels, the irrigation, and the fertilizer mixes down to the milliliter and second.”