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    Vertical farming? Views on innovation sought for feasibility study

    Posted 5 March 2021

    “Vertical Farming offers exciting prospects, yet it is unclear if farmers are willing or know about this innovation."

    Young man stands outside next to large John Deere branded plinth

    Daniel Stones

    Views are sought from UK farmers to help Harper Adams University student Daniel Stones evaluate the future feasibility of vertical farming.

    A Vertical Farm is a new and growing innovation in the agricultural sector that allows farmers to maximise yields, optimise growing space, reduce chemical requirements and improve farm efficiencies,” says Daniel. “However, as the innovation is still in its infancy, my dissertation seeks to gain farmers opinions on Vertical Farming to determine its current feasibility and its future prospects in the sector.

    “I wanted to focus on this topic because the agricultural industry is seeing increasing challenges to maintain profitability and improve output, all while reducing its environmental impact; which is becoming more challenging due to the loss of the BPS (Basic Payment Scheme).

    “Vertical Farming offers exciting prospects, yet it is unclear if farmers are willing or know about this innovation."

    Daniel, from York, is appealing for farmers to complete his survey at the earliest opportunity and will also be conducting interviews with industry stakeholders.

    The 21-year-old is due to complete his undergraduate studies this summer, qualifying with BSc (Hons) Agri-Business, a route he chose because he wanted to gain a better understanding of different aspects of the agricultural industry.

    “The course interested me because it contained modules such as Integrated Crop Management Systems, International Agri-Business as well as Farm Business Management and Economics, which helps me understand the ideology from field to fork, in terms of growing a product, marketing it and considering the sustainability and economic viability of the whole food chain.

    “Harper Adams offered me the platform to take what I had learned in the first two years of study and apply it on a placement year, which I completed with John Deere at the European Hub in Mannheim, Germany.

    Daniel’s home farm in York, which runs both arable and beef enterprises, uses both Massey Ferguson and John Deere tractors! He is no stranger to lambing either, supporting operations on a nearby estate with a flock of Texel X Mules.

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