S178 Vertical Farming in Hawaii and Taiwan

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Colby Hyde, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

The use of vertical farming in urban environments and geographically isolated areas offers a potential solution to diminishing agricultural output due to climate change. Locating produce sources within metropolitan areas is directly meeting a food demand with a food supply. Additionally, controlled environment agriculture provides resilience against climate dependent disasters, such as flood and drought. Vertical farming also promotes food security for isolated Pacific islands which, having limited land resources, depend on food imports. Taro is an important crop in both Hawaii and Taiwan. The comparison of taro production in both communities will lead to a better understanding of whether vertical farming can meet conventional production levels. A comparison of cost might also suggest that, despite upstart costs, vertical farming is a more economically feasible way to supply food. Results from an experimental portion of the project will also be presented, which compares the growth rates of plants raised in concentrated red and blue wavelength, LED light, against those in full spectrum LED light. The goal of this study is to determine whether Pacific island communities could someday surpass conventional agriculture both in productivity and cost.
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