Added by on 2016-03-26

Bruce Bugbee, Utah State University Department of Plants, Soils and Climate, has studied plant growth in controlled environments for most of his career. Here he presents the results of his analysis of the environmental effects of Vertical Farming/Indoor Agriculture (September 2015) A copy of the slides can be downloaded here http://bit.ly/1JlujEi Related PostsDickson Despommier On Vertical FarmingTHESIS 2013 RMUTT – INNOVATION VERTICAL FARMING FOR FUTURE IN BANGKOK (HD)US city adopts eco-friendly ‘vertical farming’Vertical Farming in Kakaako – Kerry KakazuVertical FarmingVertical Farming VertiFarm

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18 Comments

  • JulieAnn Nichols-Johnson 1 year ago

    I wish I had something positive to say. Been watching 5 minutes and nothing said about the subject just side bars….disappointing. Then we go on to a scattered unsatisfying video. I have lost my interest and patience. This guy needs an editor or a personal assistant to get him organized. Poor, poor, presentation!

  • Dave Scheffer 1 year ago

    Reminds me of when I was getting my computer science degree and every freaking class the first two years spent a month explaining to us why computers are important and how some admiral once found a moth in the machine.

    If you have to spend half the time explaining and selling the idea to people who are already receptive you have nothing to say, and certainly no respect for adult learners.

    And I sure as heck do not need to hear about your internecine bickering in academia. This is a classic example of someone spending his time knocking down strawmen that no one took seriously in the first place. No one expects fossil fuels to make sustainable local foods.

    I have yet to hear anyone confuse sustainable farming who has actually set out to learn claim they will do it off the coal-fueled electric grid.

  • Allen Bruce 1 year ago

    Grow lights…seriously, its called glass, the sun, no need for lights….this fellow has never raised a house plant let alone farmed. Is Monsanto paying him, lol

  • mboiko 1 year ago

    If what Bruce Bugbee say's is true…why has Freight Farms (Vertical Farming) been so successful?

  • Jonathan Brouwer 1 year ago

    This is an excellent talk! It's given me a much more informed view on the subject. The main points I took away from it are:

    1) The energy cost to farm using grow lamps is huge; it's a financial and ecological net loss

    2) Powering the grow lamps with solar panels would take 5x the land used by crops relying on sunlight

    3) Desalinated sea water is only 2-4x the price of local fresh water (depending on location)

    4) Traditional farming is water efficient if it uses sub surface irrigation

  • sonofthunder 333 1 year ago

    everything is bad,,,, except Monsanto

  • John Merryman 1 year ago

    Your response is interesting but equally negligent and misleading.
    What about Ecoli. in field grown crops, using a poorly paid and often disadvantaged work force, craping in the very fields they are harvesting. Another is where do you get that hydroponics are more expensive??? that is totally wrong. The cost of the equipment to bring to harvest any one of the crops mentioned far exceeds all the costs involved in harvesting any of those crops. In CA and he southwest where lots of crops are grown, using incredibly expensive equipment, are growing using water which has become in real short supply. Then how about the costs involved in transporting those crops to the many distribution centers across the country, (Do you think that is cheep or reduces the carbon footprint). You also seem to place organic produce as something that should cost more and mean very little. I suggest you consider the Health Field is much more important than you give credit. Hydroponics does not have to be organic but it costs no more to grow organically than using traditional fertilizers but they are not necessary.

    On another issue you indicate that freshness is not a real consideration for the consumer, as if that is not really important. We are buying nationally more crops from across the country and even outside this country just in order to supply the incredible demand. USA has come out of the industrial age, where buildings and skyscrapers are not in demand, as a matter of fact, they are being demolished in favor or parks etc. To find any useful function of value to the citizens of this country is a BIG plus. Finding any useful function for the incredible percentage of unemployment would enrich our whole country. We can produce more (for profit) industries now than at any time in our history.
    Food is the commodity which is life sustaining and is marketable all over the world.

    Sorry for being so out spoken about your class, but I am really concerned that most of the professors teaching in our educational system, have no real experience not obtained by someone else who has just published opinions and statistics which tell a story about fantasy.

  • Afaq Saleem 1 year ago

    Great video, this really shows how the advertisement make black crow look like white pigeon.

  • Philip Dillard 1 year ago

    While I understand his views when it comes to trees growing in sky scrapers and producing fruit is exactly probable. The guy needs to pay attention to the quote he likes the most. He isn't an electrician, or an electrical engineer. Speaking as one and having installed "frequency specific" LED lights for vertical gardens for various fruit and vegetable growers they don't spend $50 a month on electricity off the grid to grow 1 Arce of crops. Also the guy needs to take a few public speaking classes at his college to better his lectures. He'll, ask the pot growers in Colorado or Washington state how they grow mass quantities of weed.  lol and they are making some crazy profit lol

  • caposton 1 year ago

    Panasonic has created a solar panel with 22.5% efficiency.

    SolarCity (Elon Musk) has created a rooftop solar panel with 22.04% efficiency

  • Braedon Jim 1 year ago

    I closed this about 10 seconds in mostly because of the title screen. Who says we NEED to use fossil fuels? We're working toward betterong renewable energy sources every day!

  • Rômulo Martins 1 year ago

    Earth is completely safe my friend, we need to care about human being. Vertical farming it's a great option that needs more tests to evolve. tks

  • ExperienceCounts2 1 year ago

    a) You should learn to structure the talk. The unspecified and non-linear presentation makes the information inaccessible

    b) I'm 12 minutes in and the only thing you've presented so far is appeal to authority – yours.

    c) You make the same false static world assumptions that dogmatic types use. All electricity will always be fossil fuel based etc.

    e) You've presented the same false dichotomies that dogmatic types use. It's not "either local PV array or fossil fuels" is crap.

    f) You're playing games with varying costs, you're talking about carbon costs in some cases, but then you switch to fuel cost, as in the case of transportation costs analysis. What happened to the carbon costs? Why weren't fuel costs included in energy input calculations for conventional agriculture?

    g) What about the cost of the extensive packaging the produce for shipping?

    h) What about the nutritional quality of the delivered food? Crap that's been on a truck for 3 days and sitting in a

    i) You completely ignored the difference in cost of harvesting crops in the field vs. the trivial access in a vertical farm

    j) What's with injecting desalinization into the discussion? Why aren't you including the CO2 and electricity costs of pumping the water out of the ground? Everyone knows that fresh water is being given away to big ag at the expense of the citizens.

    k) You're being very provincial in your arguments, they only apply to US agriculture. As Africa becomes more arid and produces more renewable energy, the equation changes.

    l) Put some error bars/ranges on your calculations so that it's possible for people to consider what might actually happen instead of accepting your claims of what will/must happen.

    Your initial argument/calculations appear to be based on how much solar energy received on the ground, not on how much solar energy is required to produce the food.

    Have you tried turning your calculations around and verified that growing plants in the ground is possible according to your claims/calculations? You sound like you have an agenda, so prove that your calculations and claims are accurate by turning all of them around and applying them conventional agriculture and applying all the same standards – the costs of electricity, the carbon costs, the full costs of packaging and transport.

    Then factor in resilience and crop insurance.

    Your assumptions completely ignore widespread extreme weather that is likely to accompany climate change. Basic capitalism says that those with product in hand, and those who can provide a reliable supply of consistent quality produce will get paid.

    We're about two or three consecutive years of wheat crop failures due to extreme weather events away from your price calculations sounding irrelevant.

    I suspect that your physics is correct but I also suspect that which bits of the physics and economics you chose to apply where, aren't.

    I also suspect that vertical farms are currently more hype than value (in some cases they seem to be pump-and-dump stock scams) and I'm absolutely certain that it will take decades of trial and error for real, working vertical farms to find their niche in the marketplace, but I have no doubt that they will contribute.

    It seems like you're selling "Bumblebees can't fly" thinking, you've done the body-weight to wing surface area calculations and declared the math proves that it's impossible for them to fly, but when the whole system is considered, bumblebees can and do fly.

    I'm not suggesting they're going to violate the laws of physics and produce infinite food at zero cost, I just think there's more to the costs and values than you're presenting.

  • TeslaRoadsterSpud 1 year ago

    Interesting presentation. Next it would be interesting to see a study comparing costs from indoor grown vegetables vs purchasing from grocery stores. Just to see if there is still a financial incentive for the home grower.

  • niel nielsen 1 year ago

    How many layers are there in the one acre?

  • John Merryman 1 year ago

    Unfortunately I was not able to understand any of your supposed points. Every time you build up to making a real point you go off on to another complete subject. I don't care about how much professors make or who looses their job teaching. I do care about the real reasons why vertical farming is less productive, healthy, more expensive or profitable than growing crops traditionally. My point is that 95% percent of youth growing up on farms, leave the farm because they can't make a living farming. Costs of equipment, legal, and municipal issues labor ETC. ETC. ETC. If you are going to teach me something make a point then substantiate it.

  • Thatguywiththelaptop 1 year ago

    Using solar panels to power lights to grow food… Why don't we just use the sun? It does a pretty good job of growing plants on it's own.

  • GodsLoveMinistry 1 year ago

    So the hoop house is definite best other than the local land cost? Also can the winter be fix with heat from composting?