Purdue University

The interview is with Cary Mitchell, Professor Horticulture at Purdue University.

Source: Purdue University

What are the areas of indoor farming research you are most interested in?

LED lighting and energy-saving methods of reducing Opex, especially for overhead sole-source lighting in indoor farms.

Source: Purdue University

What are some other professors or research groups you are following closely?

I follow the work of  Runkle, Valle de Sousa, Lopez, Kubota, and Kacira , whom I work with as part of the OptimIA SCRI project  dedicated to contributing to the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of indoor farms specializing in leafy greens.

What are your thoughts in CO2 usage in indoor farms?

Insulated warehouses filled with vegetation draw down CO2 rapidly in the light and can quickly become limiting to plant growth and development.  Building ventilation alone typically cannot replace CO2 used in photosynthesis, so it has to be injected and controlled. It is a necessity.

What are the most promising research areas for improving unit economics of indoor farming (if not addressed above)?

Know your market size and opportunities before scaling your business, run your enterprise budgets before beginning, calculate your Capex expenses, calculate how long before you can expect to break even, and tell your investors how long before ROI is likely and what % it will be, and if that is not good enough for them,  start over or do something else!

How can people connect with you or learn more about the research you are doing at Purdue University?

Internet searches; OptimIA website

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