Controlled Environment Agriculture, commonly abbreviated as CEA, is the logical progression in indoor growing. CEA can be defined simply, but its implementation is complex with many important variables. The simple definition of Controlled Environment Agriculture is a means of growing plants indoors in a controlled environment using technology. This controlled environment encompasses temperature, humidity, nutrients, light, grow medium, and much more. As a plant grows from seed to harvest, the environment is adjusted to be in perfect balance with the plant’s needs, which results in increased yields, less stress on the plant, and possible cost savings. All types of indoor farming, including hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical farming, are forms of CEA.
CEA is monumentally important to growing affordable produce year-round. In the USA, California, Florida, and Texas have climates that are suitable for year-round growing, but consumers in Northern states still want fresh produce in December and January. CEA is a solution to this. Rising fuel costs have made it increasingly expensive to transport produce over long distances. Since CEA facilities operate independently of outdoor climate, fresh produce can now be harvested year-round in Northern states. CEA facilities aren’t just limited to greenhouses too. Warehouse facilities are increasing in popularity because they are less expensive to heat and cool than a traditional greenhouse. CEA facilities can also bring food stability to food deserts, such as islands or remote, low-income communities.
When you’re committing to Controlled Environment Agriculture, accurate and easily accessible data is invaluable. If you don’t know what intensity your LEDs are set to or how much water is being given to each plant, you aren’t really controlling your growing environment—you’re just eyeballing and hoping for the best. The ILUMINAR HASH kit allows you to take your environmental control to the next level. Click here to begin recording and managing VPD, temperature, lighting and more at the touch of a button from anywhere in the world.
Increases in automation technology have allowed CEA operations to grow in size and availability. Previously, CEA required a large team and had to be done at scale to be profitable.
Now, because many environmental control systems are automated, small-scale grow operations and enthusiasts have legitimate options available to them. Industry leaders are taking advantage of advances in vertical farming and CEA technology to capture market niches in locally grown greenhouse crops. Current advances in automated environmental controls have allowed small grow teams the ability to provide underserved area supermarkets and farmer’s markets with fresh produce.
If you’re using aquaponics, aeroponics, or a style of vertical farming to grow your crops indoors, you need accurate measurements on your indoor environment. The HASH Environment Sensor, used in conjunction with ILUMINAR’s HASH Controller, allows grow teams of any size access to up-to-date information about their plants. The Environment Sensor allows growers to analyze PAR, Temperature, Humidity, CO2 levels, and much more on Android and Apple smartphones. The sensors are easy to set up and all units are backed by ILUMINARs 1 year warranty.
To learn more about ILUMINAR or if you have additional questions about how automation can help you develop and grow in a CEA set up, contact email@example.com.