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First automated vertical farm almost operational

80 Acres Farms, the world’s ‘first fully automated vertical farm’, is gearing up to be operational in the coming months.

Recently 80 Acres Farms, a farming start-up in Ohio, raised $ 40 million dollar in funding from Virgo Investment Group, according to AgFunderNews.

150,000 square feet

With that money the 80 Acres’ Hamilton, Ohio facility can be completed. It is expected to be – partially – operational in the coming months. 80 Acres Farms is being constructed in 3 phases. When finished, it will be 150,000 square feet of controlled environmental agriculture (CEA).

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Last year Mike Zelkind, cofounder and chief executive officer of 80 Acres Farms, told Forbes that the company uses “renewable energy, very little water and no pesticides.” The Hamilton farm aims to produce leafy greens, microgreens, kale and herbs for retailers such as Whole Foods Markets, Jungle Jims, Dorothy Lane Markets, U.S. Foods and others.

Grow products much faster

Zelkind said in an interview with iGrow that 80 Acres is able to grow products much faster than in an traditional outdoor environment, and even much faster than in a greenhouse environment. In the interview with iGrow, Zelkind said: We can control all the factors, like CO2 levels, and when and how much to deliberately stress the plant to get the right level of nutrition and flavor.”

Artificial intelligence

The crops grown in the indoor farm in are monitored by artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and other tools. 80 Acres told Forbes it uses a closed loop hydroponic delivery system and recycles the water. The farm also relies on energy-efficient LED lights for its plants to thrive, and it employs temperature controls to keep grow zones in the right indoor climate all year long. This allows the farm to grow produce 365 days a year without any interruptions.

Watch the video underneath to find out more about 80 Acres Farms

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