Top 5 Features For an Effective Vertical Grow Shelf System

At the core of indoor farming are vertical grow shelf systems that help maximize land use per square foot by helping you grow vertically.

The Vertical Grow Shelf System Checklist For Growing Cannabis Indoors

We live in a rapidly urbanizing world, which necessitates the agricultural sector to develop innovative solutions, such as a vertical grow shelf system, to supply fresh produce in urban areas.

With high pollution levels and the resulting inhospitable conditions for crop cultivation, arable land is becoming scarce.

Industries and Agtech are leading research into indoor crop cultivation. The practice is commonly known as Indoor farming or precision agriculture. 

Indoor farming entails creating artificial conditions for plant growth that mimic outdoor conditions.

This agricultural method is also known as precision agriculture because it uses AI and automation to allow farmers to grow crops to a specific taste and quality.

At the core of indoor farming are vertical grow shelf systems. These are vertical systems that help maximize land use per square foot by helping you grow vertically.

A vertical grow shelf system is a multiple rack system you can use to cultivate your cannabis plants.

What Is a Vertical Grow Shelf System

A vertical grow shelf system is a multiple rack system you can use to cultivate your cannabis plants.

These systems come in various designs in terms of materials and accessories. 

For example, a light-duty tabletop caster unit comes with caster wheels for easy mobility between rooms. On the other hand, we have heavy-duty mobile carriages that have a lever system to move loads of crops within a given grow space.

Then again, we have materials used in the construction of a vertical grow shelf system. 

High-quality systems are manufactured with steel to give them rigidity and curtail the spread of pests and diseases. Steel is also a material that is easy to clean and can withstand the moist conditions of a commercial indoor grow room.

A vertical grow shelf system helps farmers grow crops all year round. Because indoor cannabis farming is not dependent on outdoor conditions, you can grow in any season, whether winter, summer, or spring.

5 Advantages of a Vertical Grow Shelf System

Increase Production Capacity

A vertical grow shelf system helps farmers grow crops all year round. Because indoor cannabis farming is not dependent on outdoor conditions, you can grow in any season, whether winter, summer, or spring.

Moreover, with the year-round cultivation, the increased tiers can allow you to run like a manufacturing facility due to increased and consistent yields.

Maximize Vertical and Horizontal Grow Space

Vertical growing systems not only help increase vertical grow space but also horizontal space. 

For example, mobile carriages help eliminate static aisles. These vertical grow racks are mounted on a carriage system, which allows you to move the shelving systems side to side and hence you can create aisles when necessary.

Most vertical grow shelf systems are made to integrate with conditioning and lighting equipment from most companies.

Easy to Integrate Conditioning Equipment

The cannabis vertical growing systems need to be sturdy to carry both the weight of crops and environmental conditioning equipment. The vertical grow racks need to carry the irrigation systems and lighting systems. 

Moreover to help overcome the formation of microclimates they may need to carry some light-duty HVAC equipment. Most vertical grow shelf systems are made to integrate with conditioning and lighting equipment from most companies.

Reduce Energy Costs

Vertical grow systems help you save on energy costs by having your powerful ACs run at optimal capacity for a given space.  When compared to horizontal systems, one AC can serve more crops per square foot.

Moreover, by incorporating IoT sensors into your vertical farms you can regulate the environmental equipment and maintain optimum conditions.

Customizable to Any Grow Space

Vertical growing systems installation companies prepare floor drawings allowing them to create customized systems. The customized systems ensure your space is well utilized.

In addition, the systems can be customized to facilitate the cannabis variety you are growing to ensure high efficiency. 

With customized vertical grow shelf systems, you can also compute the capacity evaluations for your space, hence you can better project the expected gains.

Top 5 Considerations For a Reliable Vertical Grow Shelf System

Using steel on our mobile carriages means they can carry up to 1400 pounds per carriage foot. This can comfortably carry your crops, grow medium and lighting equipment.

1. Durable Construction Material

Vertical growing racks are commonly made of steel. Steel is a material that offers, rigidity, durability, and ease of cleaning. 

A vertical grow shelf system is an expensive purchase and so it has to be durable to ensure a good ROI. 

In addition, the indoor growing environment needs to remain clean to ensure optimum conditions for plant growth.

Using steel on our mobile carriages means they can carry up to 1400 pounds per carriage foot. This can comfortably carry your crops, grow medium and lighting equipment.

You also need to consider the quality of grow trays. They have to be sturdy to hold up the weight of grow medium and crops planted. 

Our grow trays are made to withstand temperature fluctuations and the wear of daily agricultural use. They also have rounded edges for easy cleaning and drain channels to ensure your crops aren’t waterlogged.

Remember to have the trays fit perfectly to your grow systems. Hence, it may be prudent to buy both your vertical systems and grow trays from the same installation company.

It's important to obtain your vertical grow shelf system from a reputable company.

2. An Experienced Installation Company

It’s important to obtain your vertical grow shelf system from a reputable company.

A reputable company ensures a smooth transition into vertical farming with mitigated risks.

There are various perks to partnering with an experienced vertical systems installation company;

    • Free floor plan drawings to ensure your grow space is optimized.
    • Capacity evaluation which allows you to have a definite business plan
    • Seismic calculations. The safety of your employees and operation is crucial. Vertical growing systems need to be designed and fortified to overcome seismic complications.
    • Warranty on parts and labor. A good warranty from an installation company keeps you easy as you can identify the longevity of your vertical growing equipment. For example, at MMI Agriculture we offer a 10-year warranty on parts and labor to get you started and prosperous in your operation.
  • Permit acquisition

When choosing a vertical growing systems installation company ensure they have the above features to support your vertical farming efforts.

However, there are a few key points you should consider right away when purchasing a vertical grow shelf system for each cannabis variety:

3. Customization Support (For the Cannabis Variety)

Are you growing cannabis Sativa, Indica or Hybrid in your indoor vertical farm? Then you need to consider the different growing requirements for each of these cannabis strains.

In our article “Indoor Cannabis Growing: Cannabis Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid” we’ve gone in-depth on what each strain demands.

However, there are a few key points you should consider right away when purchasing a vertical grow shelf system for each cannabis variety:

  • Indica. It’s a short and bushy cannabis variety. Their stature can allow you to have more tiers. However, they have dense buds making them prone to diseases. Good ventilation is a must for high and quality yields.
  • Sativa. They are a tall variety with a longer maturity cycle. They can lower the number of tiers and increase energy costs due to the long maturity cycle
  • Hybrid. These varieties give you the best of both worlds. The dense buds and short growth cycle of the Indica and mold resistance of the Sativa. The dominant variety will influence the number of tiers you can install for your grow space.

The advantage of having a vertical grow shelf system for your indoor cannabis operation is that you can install it in phases.

4. Phased Vertical Grow Shelf System Installation

The advantage of having a vertical grow shelf system for your indoor cannabis operation is that you can install it in phases.

Notably, vertical farming is a capital-intensive venture. 

With this in mind, you can devise a strategy for installing your indoor grow systems in sections/phases. In due time, you can add more systems hassle-free as there are floor plans to give direction and clarity on your project goals.

Furthermore, if you have a midsized operation you can leverage tabletop caster units to grow your crops.

The vertical grow shelf systems platforms shouldn’t be too wide. They should make it easy for workers to tend to each plant.

5. Ergonomics

The vertical grow shelf systems platforms shouldn’t be too wide. They should make it easy for workers to tend to each plant.

The workers should have an easy time reaching for crops on top tiers. There’s an option for workers to use ladders. However, when harvesting, they may need to move loads of plant material and their safety can be a concern.

Fortunately, there’s innovations such as the retractable elevated decking you can assess using a scissor lift or ladder. The decking runs through the entire span of your vertical system, allowing your workers to save time and energy working on the top tiers.

Moreover, the mobile carriages are fitted with drive and handle capabilities allowing your workers to move loaded systems with one hand and access the crops.

Our expertise allows us to help support cannabis companies in their transition to vertical farming by supplying high-quality vertical systems all over the USA. 

Grow Higher With MMI Agriculture Vertical Grow Shelf Systems

At MMI Agriculture we specialize in vertical grow shelf systems installation. 

Our expertise allows us to help support cannabis companies in their transition to vertical farming by supplying high-quality vertical systems all over the USA. 

We partner in the success of your farm by providing 10 years warranty on parts and labor. Moreover, we have support services such as capacity evaluations and free floor plan drawings. 

Ready to make the shift? Contact us today for a quote.

Microgrids; Resolving the Indoor Vertical Farming Energy Nightmare

Indoor vertical farming has numerous advantages including better-tasting food & low carbon print. However, there's energy demand issue.

Microgrids; Champion of the Indoor Vertical Farming Pesky Energy Problem

Energy requirements in indoor vertical farming take up a whopping 60% of the farm’s operating costs.

Why then invest in indoor vertical farming? Well, there’s an increasing population with projections indicating a major increase in urban centers.

Vertical farming enables cultivation in urban centers by utilizing warehouses, skyscrapers, and shipping containers. Hence utilizing any indoor space and growing more by cultivating vertically, utilizing both horizontal and vertical grow space.

Indoor vertical farming has numerous advantages including fresh, better-tasting food and a low carbon print. However, there’s the energy demand issue.

A typical vertical farm may consume up to 38.8 kWh per kg of the harvested crop. This can add up to 5 kg C02 for every kg of the finished product.

Can indoor vertical farming be sustainable with such high figures? This is where microgrids come into play. A microgrid helps you take control over the energy you generate among other functions that we shall get to discuss.

Indoor vertical farming is an agricultural solution geared at meeting the food needs of the present. It's also an innovation aimed at solving the projected problem of population growth in urban centers. 

Sustainability in Indoor Vertical Farming

Sustainability in agriculture aims at having the present society meet its food needs without affecting the future generation’s ability to meet its own needs.

Indoor vertical farming is an agricultural solution geared at meeting the food needs of the present. It’s also an innovation aimed at solving the projected problem of population growth in urban centers. 

Some of the sustainability initiatives achieved through vertical farming include

  • Low water use by employing the use of hydroponics and aeroponics farming methods
  • Reduced use of fertilizers hence less pollution of water sources
  • Increased use of land per square foot by growing vertically.
  • All-year growth of crops since its independent of outside weather conditions
  • Reduced transportation hence reduced carbon footprint by bringing produce closer to the consumer

These are some of the accolades that award vertical farming golden stars in enhanced sustainability.

However, indoor vertical farming relies on Controlled environment agriculture technology (CEA), which entails installing power-consuming environment conditioning equipment.

These equipment include HVACS, irrigation and fertigation systems, CO2 burners, and lighting equipment. 

All these systems rely on electricity and depending on the size of the operation can have your farm consume anywhere from 500 kW to 15 MW of power. Energy needs that exceed or are equivalent to running data centers or a retail box store.

Indoor vertical farming can't do away with this equipment as they are the essence of the farming method.

The Microgrids Solution to the Indoor Vertical Farming Energy Demands

Indoor vertical farming can’t do away with this equipment as they are the essence of the farming method. Moreover, power outages can really hamper yields and quality of produce resulting in losses. 

Microgrids are a solution making headway into indoor agriculture to sustain its reputation as a sustainable method of agriculture and also as a buffer from potential losses from inconsistencies such as power outages or fluctuations.

What Are Microgrids in Indoor Vertical Farming?

A microgrid is a self-sufficient energy system operating independently of the main grid, allowing you to generate and use your own electricity for your indoor vertical farm.

Microgrids combine various forms of electricity production such as wind and solar energy and combined with intelligent software solutions and battery systems provide your farm with the energy requirements necessary.

With microgrids being independent of the mains you can have an uninterrupted power supply for your indoor farm which is crucial for an efficient grow op.

Advantages of Microgrids

  • Save on peak demand charges.
  • Consistent power supply even with power outages.
  • Lowered carbon footprint on indoor vertical farming. Microgrids utilize various green power production technologies like solar, fuel cells, wind, combined heat and power (CHP) plants, and batteries.  
  • They improve the operation and stability of the regional electric grid
  • Provide a new revenue stream through ancillary service programs.

Disadvantages of Microgrids

  • The system is costly.
  • The system is technical. This creates a demand for experts who aren’t in plenty, with microgrids being a relatively new concept.
  • High maintenance costs and space requirements as you require battery tanks to store energy.

For microgrids to run independently there are quite a handful of mechanisms that need to be regulated. Some of the complexities include

Upcoming Solutions to Enhance Microgrids for Efficient Indoor Vertical Farming

For microgrids to run independently there are quite a handful of mechanisms that need to be regulated. Some of the complexities include

  • For microgrids to function properly, the aggregate system’s voltage, power, and flow must be controlled.
  • Microgrids require a connection interface to the utility network that functions primarily as a circuit breaker.
  • Microgrid islanding. This attribute is what gives the microgrid its independence from the main grid. However, at the start of Microgrid Islanding, power flows must be balanced through energy absorption and injection capability.
  • Regulating the sudden phase voltages and currents at the point of coupling

All these are functions that need to be automated to kick in like clockwork; otherwise, any delays could result in high costs due to the system not functioning efficiently.

The grand scale of tasks needed to install and manage these systems calls for solutions to ease the workload and lower costs. 

Energy as a service (EaaS) is a solution to help indoor vertical farmers avoid huge capital expenses by having a fixed monthly rate that pays for all aspects of the microgrid system. The factors considered range from the design to the construction and maintenance of the system.

Starting an indoor vertical farm is an expensive endeavour in and of itself. Installing a microgrid raises the initial costs even more. 

EaaS technology allows you to easily track and manage your energy costs. You can also examine your operation’s efficiency, dependability, and carbon footprint.

Incorporating EaaS into your Microgrid systems brings you a step closer to achieving the sustainability goals of your indoor vertical farming operation.

When it comes to making savings on your energy costs, going vertical helps you optimize not only available space but also the output of your environment conditioning equipment.

Common Indoor Vertical Farming Equipment

When it comes to making savings on your energy costs, going vertical helps you optimize not only available space but also the output of your environment conditioning equipment.

Rather than purchasing high-grade equipment for servicing only horizontal beds. The same equipment can be used for stacked beds getting more done for the same energy used.

Don’t get me wrong: going vertical is expensive, at first. However, it provides a good ROI in the long run by producing more yields. As a result, getting your installation right the first time is the key to a successful indoor vertical farming venture.

MMI Agriculture is an experienced vertical farming installation company. We provide you with quality indoor vertical farming equipment to get you started and succeed in the industry.

Some of our indoor vertical farming equipment includes 

  • Vertical grow racks. Utilize your available grow space horizontally with our versatile uprights. These indoor vertical farming equipment are made of 14 gauge steel to comfortably support the weight of your crops and your workers as they tend to them.
  • Mobile carriages. These are high-density vertical grow racks with mobile capabilities that allow you to eliminate wasted space in the form of static aisles. These heavy-duty vertical racks carry up to 1400 pounds allowing you to grow more in your grow space.
  • Tabletop caster units. Are you looking to start a midsized operation? Our tabletop caster units will get you started smoothly. The uprights are fitted with caster wheels allowing smooth transitions between rooms. Moreover, when you are content you can lock them in place and watch your crops flourish.

Indoor vertical farming has a big energy consumption problem. The cultivation method boasts of being a champion for increased sustainability in agriculture. 

Facilitate Profitable Indoor Vertical Farming With MMI Agriculture

Indoor vertical farming has a big energy consumption problem. The cultivation method boasts of being a champion for increased sustainability in agriculture. 

The energy requirements threaten its podium status. Then again, the incorporation of microgrids to provide sustainable energy for indoor farms may still sustain the cultivation method’s potential.

At MMI Agriculture we aim to provide solutions that help you successfully transition into indoor vertical farming. 

We help you get started with free floor plan drawings. Moreover, we help you do capacity evaluations, and permit acquisitions among other services to keep you on the roadmap to profitability in indoor vertical farming.

Growing Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

Indoor Cannabis Farming: Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Indoor cannabis farming is booming as the preferable way of cannabis cultivation. A good grasp of what makes everything tick within an indoor grow system is key to profitable indoor cannabis farming. But is there any difference in growing sativa vs indica vs hybrid?

Then again, with good apprehension of the indoor system, you need to know the various cannabis strain as they will heavily influence your choice of indoor grow systems. The commonly compared cannabis strains include Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid.

Each strain hails from a different region bringing with them different physical attributes, environmental requirements, and growing and flowering patterns, all of which influence the design of your indoor grow system.

Therefore, how unique are these cannabis strains, and how will each strain affect your indoor vertical grow systems? Here are a few things to consider.

Growing Indica Strain Indoors

Indica is a cannabis strain associated with full-body effects like alleviating insomnia and increasing deep relaxation. These attributes from this strain originating from the Hindu Kush Mountains have made it a hit with growers and users alike.

The strain, with respect to its place of origin, gives it its short structure and bushy appearance. The cold environment also has made the plant adapt to a short growing cycle.

Its short stature of about 3-4 feet makes it a good plant for indoor growing. Moreover, it has a compact canopy allowing you to incorporate multiple tiers when leveraging vertical systems, hence more gains for your indoor grow.

The leaves are dark green and broad, with their buds growing in clumps. Notably, the dense buds of the Indica plants can make them vulnerable to pests and diseases. Hence good ventilation will be necessary to ensure humidity levels are at a low, as high humidity can prove disastrous for your yields.

The Indica provides a fast turnover as they flower by about eight weeks, and by about the 12th week, they are ready for harvest.

These unique characteristics of the Indica plant make it a favorite for indoor vertical farming growers. This is because multiple-tier systems like vertical grow racks can be incorporated, and with the opportunity to grow all year, you can grow more hence an increased bottom line year over year.

In a nutshell, here’s what to note on Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid cannabis 

  • Short flowering time
  • Short and bushy 
  • Dense buds
  • Vulnerable to pests and molds when exposed to excessive humidity

Growing Sativa Indoors

Sativa is a cannabis strain known for its “head high,” energizing effects and helps reduce stress or anxiety while enhancing creativity and focus. All thanks to its high THC-to-CBD ratio.

This unique strain traces its origin to the hot, dry climates of Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. 

Compared to the Indica, Sativa is tall, reaching 12 – 20 feet hence a longer maturity cycle. The plants are also thin with finger-like leaves.

Due to the plant’s height, you may have to use fewer tiers when growing the strain indoors. This may lower your production rate, but that shouldn’t demoralize you from growing the plant, as there’s a significant demand for the plant’s buds and sativa-dominant products. 

To help you get the most out of your Indica indoor grow, have a business plan incorporating a market survey of the most in-demand products where your indoor system is set up.

Also, note that the Sativa strain requires more light to grow; hence incorporating LED grow lights can help manage production costs. LED lights give good light intensity at low energy costs.

One key advantage of Sativa plants is that they need less fertilizer.

Pure Sativa can take about six months to grow, with flowering taking up to 16 weeks before you can harvest.

Common characteristics of Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid cannabis 

  • Thin, light green leaves
  • Lengthy flowering time
  • Low yields
  • Less vulnerable to mold

Growing Hybrid Strains Indoors

Hybrid cannabis strains are new and unique strains produced by combining different Indica or Sativa parent plants. The aim is to extract specific favorable characteristics from the parent plants.

Their texture, height, and appearance mainly depend on the parent plants.

These types provide indoor farmers with the best each strain has to offer—for example, the mold resistance of Sativa and the short growth cycle and dense buds of Indica.

All things considered, hybrids are indoor growers’ favorite as there’s more variety for the consumers, such as the Indica’s body relaxing effect and the enhanced cerebral effects of the Sativa.

Moreover, with their short flowering period of about 8-10 weeks, there are more yields for the grower over a year. Indoor cannabis growing on vertical systems protects your plants from pests and mold hence better quality yields. 

In addition, the reduced pollen contamination within indoor systems ensures the female buds aren’t fertilized; hence, potent yields that can fetch you grow-op higher gains.

The common characteristics of Hybrid vs. Indica vs. Sativa cannabis 

  • Higher yields
  • Improved resistance to mold
  • Reduced flowering time 
  • Indoor growing friendly 

How To Grow Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid Cannabis Indoors

Whether growing the Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid cannabis strain, you need to have some well-thought-out basics in preparation to grow indoors.

Here are a few things you should consider for your indoor cannabis grow op

• Lighting System. Each strain will have its unique lighting requirements. Moreover, the longer the growth cycle, the bigger the budget to consider with the strain. 

For example, the Indica needs less lighting, while the Sativa needs more lighting. Either way incorporating LED lights can help lower utility costs. Other lighting systems include HPS lights and fluorescent lights.

• Vertical Farming Systems. With indoor growing, up is the way to go. Vertical systems are multitiered shelvings that help exploit often underused overhead space in warehouses and skyscraper indoor gardens. 

Using various systems, such as mobile carriages and vertical grow racks, you can comfortably grow any cannabis strain in your indoor space. The length of the strains may heavily determine the number of tiers you can put up. Tall varieties will lower the number of tiers and vice versa.

• Ventilation. Good airflow ensures stale air is expelled, maintaining favorable conditions for the healthy growth of your plants. Ventilation equipment such as CO2 burners, ACs, Fans, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers ensure ideal humidity levels preventing the build-up of molds and pest infestation. 

• Indoor Grow Trays. You’ll need to find the right growing pot for your cannabis plants. Our 1020 trays, also known as hydroponic trays, provide the ideal home for your plant’s root system. 

The trays, in combination with our vertical systems, provide adequate drainage channels for your crops while protecting equipment on lower tiers. Good drainage helps protect plants from root rot that may lower your bud quality.

Grow Your Cannabis Sativa vs. Hybrid vs. Indica with MMI Agriculture

Whether you are growing Hybrid vs. Indica vs. Sativa cannabis, you need to know their unique characteristics to help you get the ideal indoor growing system. Moreover, you can maximize your indoor growing profits by growing your cannabis vertically.

Partnering with the right vertical systems installer is key to having an indoor system that maximizes your indoor space. Be it vertical grow racks or mobile carriages for your commercial enterprise or tabletop caster units for your home grow, MMI Agriculture has the experience and equipment you need for a successful grow.

Moreover, if you need capacity evaluations and floor plans for your indoor grow space, we have an experienced team of experts to cater to your needs. What are you waiting for? Contact us today for a quote.

5 Clever Trends Transforming Indoor Farming

Indoor cannabis farming under LED grow lights

What Are the Megatrends Shaping Indoor Farming?

Is cannabis indoor farming the future?

Increased food demand with decreasing arable land and unpredictable weather patterns has elicited a demand for changes within the agricultural sector.

Consequently, various stakeholders have devised innovative strategies, such as indoor farming, to combat these challenges.

Indoor farming is a cultivation method being leveraged to combat issues such as global warming, which is characterized by rising temperatures and frequent droughts that disrupt healthy plant growth. 

Moreover, the practice has succeeded in mitigating upcoming disasters, such as the Covid-19 pandemic involving quarantine and border closures, affecting the food supply chain.

With this in mind, the agriculture sector needs to transform to use less water and chemicals while protecting crops from climate change to produce reliable yields sustainably.

Indoor farming plays into this solution as its an enclosed artificial controlled growing environment created to mimic outside conditions.

The practice utilizes Controlled environment agriculture to provide the right environment for plants to grow with less water and fertilizers and as an enclosed system protecting them from harsh weather conditions.

With the tall order on indoor farming as a modern agricultural solution, key innovations have emerged to establish it as a “future-proof” cultivation method.

Top 5 Emerging Trends Shaping Indoor Farming

1. Custom Plants

Indoor farming is at the epicenter of research on crops and their growth under optimized and simulated conditions. The approach of indoor farming has facilitated the growth of hybrid plants, hence even more refined cannabis plants.

The simulated conditions allow growers to try out new strains, providing consumers with even more variety and benefits.

Moreover, the controlled conditions of an indoor garden, such as lighting growers, can influence the potency and taste of crops to provide the desired results. 

Indoor farms help produce the quality needed; for example, a new Zealand startup has devised a way to leverage UV light to imbue flavor profiles in plants.

2. A Variety of Crops

Indoor growing has traditionally focused on growing leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach, as they are considered easy to grow in indoor vertical systems.

However, as the growing technology has improved, farmers have sought to find more profitable niches like vertical cannabis growing. 

Indoor farming provides the opportunity to grow crops even during harsh weather, as the closed system helps protect delicate crops.

Moreover, various farms have sought to grow anything in vertical farms, from strawberries to barley. Notably, using vertical farming systems allows for a lucrative business as by “growing up,” you can have more yields for every square foot of space.

As cannabis has continued to be legalized, this has opened up a profitable channel in the indoor growing space.

Cannabis plants have a variety, such as Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strains which all have different growing requirements bringing about various challenges and benefits.

For example, Indicas are short; hence you can incorporate multiple tiers of vertical systems; however, they are prone to molds. 

On the other hand, Sativas are tall plants hence reduced tiers but are mold resistant. Finally, we have the hybrid strains they are the best of both worlds (Sativa vs. Indica) and easy to get flavorful produce while tweaking the lighting systems, among other conditions.

3. Automation In IndoorFarming

Automation is a crucial factor in vertical farming. It is used in irrigation systems to control the amount of water plants receive. 

Its also used in nutrient delivery to quickly and sufficiently distribute nutrients to the plants as needed. 

Moreover, you can control the lighting and ventilation systems.

Automation is necessary for vertical farms due to the scale of work involved for every indoor farming system. You get to plant on a grand scale; hence automation reduces the labor needs, boosting productivity with lowered risks of human error.

Automation also allows for less use of pesticides and herbicides while increasing yields due to complete control over the growing process.

Some of the key ways automation is used in vertical farming include

  • AI and digital monitoring to mimic nature indoors by manipulating factors like climate, temperature, and nutrients
  • Using IoT sensors and AI cloud systems to optimize and manage crop growth 
  • Automated arms and elevators for harvesting plants
  • Seed-to-sale tracking of cannabis plants as required by various legislation 

4. Big Data

Access to credible information can tip the scales on any major decision, be it on the war front or, in our case, building the ideal indoor farm.

Installing sensors within an indoor farm is helpful as you can collect data from various touchpoints in your grow room. The data collected can then be loaded into an operating system that analyses it and creates actionable intel.

The data analyzed can give insights into handling various critical aspects of the grow room, such as ventilation, CO2 levels, light intensity, and humidity levels.

Big data helps create the specific conditions needed to grow your crops.  Hence you can grow a plant typically found in tropical regions indoors. As a result, saving time and preserving freshness hence better margins. 

Moreover, with data, you can leverage fewer resources while producing high-quality plants.

The data is stored in cloud-based storage solutions where rules engines (machine learning/artificial intelligence) learn, predict, and adapt.

5. Vertical Growing Systems

Indoor farming is also experiencing shifts in how growers are cultivating their crops. Growers are now using vertical growing systems to plant more crops, increasing their output per square foot.

Vertical growing systems are multiple shelvings or racks that help indoor farmers utilize their overhead space, whether in a skyscraper or warehouse. These systems include mobile carriages, vertical grow racks, and tabletop caster units.

These systems each bring a unique function within a grow space providing more variety for the grower:

  • Mobile Carriages. These high-density steel shelvings sit on flange wheels, giving them mobility. Their mobility not only helps you utilize overhead space but also eliminates static aisles. By eliminating static aisles, you save 50% extra space as you create aisles.
  • Vertical Grow Racks. This bulk racking made of 14 gauge steel allows farmers to extend their grow space horizontally and vertically. These sturdy grow racks are engineered to help you integrate your irrigation, lighting, and ventilation systems. 
  • Tabletop Caster Units. These multiple-tier units incorporate caster wheels, making it easy for you to transition between rooms. They are a resourceful product for growing seedlings. Moreover, they are the perfect fit for a homegrow or small-scale indoor farms.

In addition, there has been a development in the vertical systems space with key innovations like the Mezzanine walkway.

The walkway is a retractable decking design that eliminates the challenge of accessing plants at higher elevations. The walkway simply integrates with your vertical systems, and when in use, it’s pulled out, and you can easily tend to the crops at higher elevations.

Shift Into Indoor Growing Vertical Systems With MMI Agriculture

The indoor growing space is an emerging agricultural tend with so much untapped potential. It is an industry that is leading various innovations and facilitating new perspectives on advanced technologies like AI and machine learning, which are already shaping the modern world.

MMI Agriculture is committed to being a part of the solutions that shape indoor farming. We are dedicated to providing advanced and dependable vertical farming systems for the average indoor farmer.

Our vertical farming solutions include mobile carriages, vertical grow racks, and tabletop caster units. In addition, we offer bespoke vertical systems installation services to transition you quickly into indoor vertical farming. Contact us today for a quote.

Vertical Grow Systems: 4 Incredible Ways They Improve Your Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Efforts

vertical grow system with grower tending to plants

4 Brilliant Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line by Growing Cannabis With Vertical Grow Systems

Vertical farming is the farming practice of growing crops on vertical grow systems in the form of vertically stacked layers. The cultivation method leverages technology to grow crops efficiently in a controlled environment. 

This cultivation approach has numerous advantages, such as increased and consistent quality yields, high productivity per square foot, and increased worker safety. 

Moreover, with the ability to build vertical farms anywhere, whether in a warehouse or skyscraper, grow ops can lower production costs like transportation and storage of plant material, thus increasing profits. 

What Are Vertical Grow Systems?Cannabis plants on grow racks using vertical growing systems for indoor cultivation. vertical farming equipment USA. rolling shelving. indoor grow systems.

Vertical grow systems are shelvings made of steel where cannabis plants are grown on hydroponic trays. The systems aim to maximize available grow space, both vertically and horizontally, thus ensuring maximum use of every square foot of grow space.

Vertical grow systems come in various designs ranging from static/stationary units to mobile units that can be moved back and fourth. They also can come as standalone units that sit atop caster wheels

Vertical grow racks are a space-saving solution made of high-density steel which can host multiple tiers of cannabis plants. These versatile systems are designed to help you easily integrate your LED grow lights and irrigation system.

The mobile carriages, equipped with flange wheels and aluminum shaft, sit on a bar track that allow you to move the carriage seamlessly within your grow room. These vertical grow systems allow you to save 50% more space by eliminating static aisles.

Another option is our tabletop caster units. These units are ideal for an at- home or midsize grow op. The units sit on caster wheels, allowing you to move the systems from room to room.

At MMI Agriculture, we offer vertical grow systems at affordable prices in all states cannabis is legal, like Washington DC, California, Virginia, Vermont, and Nevada. 

5 Benefits of Growing Cannabis Using Vertical Grow Systems

1. Vertical Grow Systems Reduce Waste vertical growing systems for cannabis and hemp cultivation USA. plant racks indoor. grow trays. indoor vertical farming.

Water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource worldwide due to global warming. Notably, agriculture accounts for 70% of global water use yearly, a significant contributor to water scarcity.

However, vertical farming introduces technological leverage to counter this narrative. Vertical grow systems help save up to 95% water compared to conventional farming. There are various methods that can be used including hydroponics, aeroponics, or aquaponics 

The cultivation methods have water circulating in a closed loop, ensuring nothing is wasted. Even evaporating water from leaves is caught by dehumidifiers, which can also be reused.

Additionally, the cannabis plants are planted indoors, which necessitates creating a controlled environment, reducing the need to use pesticides as pests are easily kept at bay.

Moreover, the crops are planted in urban centers where the consumers are, lowering transportation costs and managing associated CO2 emissions. Likewise, there’s a reduced need for refrigeration storage, making the produce fresher and more profitable.

2. Vertical Grow Systems Increase Output/Yield

Indoor cultivation allows for highly controlled environmental conditions for the plants. In addition, the nutrient solution used with hydroponic cultivation can be adjusted to provide the ideal conditions for fast-growing crops and high-quality buds. 

Unlike growing outdoors in soil, indoor growing on vertical grow systems utilizes hydroponic trays where you provide a nutrient solution for the plants. The solution can be measured for nutrient concentration and pH, which you can adjust to benefit your cannabis plants. One way to ensure optimum conditions is to incorporate an automated dosing system that monitors nutrient and PH levels.

In addition, commercial cannabis growers practice controlled environment agriculture (or CEA) to grow cannabis plants year-round. CEA controls the grow room’s lighting, humidity, temperature, and air circulation. This means you can comfortably plant indoors uninterrupted regardless of external conditions, whether summer, winter, or autumn.  

Again,  you can run your indoor farm like a manufacturing plant churning out large loads of cannabis produce. This is in light of the increased number of plants per square foot through vertical grow systems and a year-round planting season.

3. Vertical Grow Systems Reduce Destruction by Pests, Weeds, and Diseases

Weeds compete with the nutrients your plants need to grow into healthy shoots. With vertical grow systems, you don’t have to grow on soil, reducing the chances of dormant seeds within the grow medium sprouting. The hydroponic systems used in indoor systems use a liquid grow medium that can’t harbor weeds with proper maintenance and sanitation of the irrigation system. 

Likewise, the liquid grow medium also reduces the risk of plants contracting soil-borne pests, which may impact the health and yields of the plants. Although the hydroponic systems may carry waterborne diseases, you can manage the situation with careful monitoring.

Furthermore, the enclosed indoor system keeps pests away as the growing space is constantly cleaned before farming begins. The vertical grow systems are made of steel, making the conditions unbearable for pathogens or pests to thrive or hide.

In a nutshell, the vertical grow systems help reduce the need for herbicides and pesticides harmful to humans. Equally, this promotes an organic approach to farming, improving the quality of yields produced.

4. Vertical Grow Systems Promote Low Labor Costs and Increased Safety

The CEA technology used with indoor vertical grow systems brings in an aspect of automation. The temperature, humidity, and airflow equipment are easily managed using controllers that automatically regulate conditions within the grow space.

This allows your workers to focus on vital parameters such as monitoring plant health and ensuring optimal yields.

Moreover, with indoor vertical farming, your workers are safe from injuries associated with heavy cultivation equipment, increasing productivity. 

Notable advancements in the vertical farming space have pioneered key inventions like the retractable elevated decking to enhance worker safety and productivity. 

Our vertical grow equipment, upon request, can be equipped with our retractable elevated decking. The elevated decking helps your workers comfortably and safely access crops on higher elevations during harvesting or inspection. This means your workers don’t have to strain reaching for the upper shelving or to have to balance on a ladder or scaffolding. Once you are done with the elevated decking, it easily retracts into the vertical grow system.

Are Vertical Grow Systems the Future of Agriculture?

As the global population gradually increases and key resources such as water and arable land dwindle, the demand for innovations in critical sectors like agriculture is growing. Vertical farming is a technology-based agricultural solution that solves the issue of limited arable land and water. The technology uses up to 95% less water than conventional cultivation and utilizes more than 200% of a square area of land by leveraging vertical grow systems.

MMI Agriculture is a vertical grow systems provider and installation company with experience in vertical farming technology. We provide our clients with customized vertical growing systems, including mobile carriages, vertical grow racks and tabletop caster units.

Our products are made with 14-gauge steel to ensure durability, a smooth transition, and sustainability in the vertical growing space.

Furthermore, we offer unique services such as capacity evaluations and free floor plans to set you up for success in commercial cannabis cultivation. Contact us today for a quote.

Everything You Need to Know About How To Grow Cannabis Vertically

Grodan blocks on MMI vertical racks

4 Unbeatable Techniques to Successfully Grow Cannabis Vertically

Read this simple guide to learn how to grow cannabis vertically.

Cannabis cultivation can be costly, with high real estate expenses, significant energy bills, and a lot of time and effort required to maintain a successful farm. However, a cannabis farm can be profitable by maximizing profits and carefully managing costs.

Horizontal marijuana growing is the classic approach to developing the plant. It involves growing plants side by side, usually underneath old-fashioned sodium lights.

Systems that allow you to grow cannabis vertically ensure that growers produce more cannabis with less space, making them ideal for small-scale operations. However, this is not the case anymore. Growing cannabis vertically has become the norm today.

Vertical cannabis grow systems are becoming increasingly popular among indoor growers. These systems allow growers to produce more cannabis with less space, making them ideal for commercial operations. Several types of vertical grow systems are available on the market, so growers can choose the one that best suits their needs.

If you’re thinking about switching to a vertical grow system, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

What Does It Mean to Grow Cannabis Vertically?Cannabis plants on vertical grow racks in an indoor vertical farming grow house. grow cannabis vertically with grow racks from MMI Agriculture.

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so does the demand for innovative growing methods. Vertical cannabis growing is a new method of cultivation that is becoming increasingly popular among growers. This method involves growing cannabis plants in vertically stacked layers, allowing higher yields and easier maintenance.

Vertical cannabis growth is a great way to maximize your space and yield. 

By stacking multiple square or hexagonal shelves around a central light source, you can create a large, productive growing area without taking up much space. This setup also allows easy access to all parts of the plant, making it ideal for growers who want to keep a close eye on their crop.

Growing cannabis vertically helps you utilize the square footage of your grow room. Not to mention, vertical gardens are simply beautiful to look at.

How to Grow Cannabis Vertically

Are you interested in starting your vertical cannabis farm? If so, there are a few things you need to do to get started.

Step 1: Choose Your Vertical Grow SystemVertical grow rack system for growing cannabis vertically from MMI Agriculture USA. Buy vertical grow racks online.

If you’re looking to grow cannabis vertically, one great way to start is with a vertical grow system, also known as vertical racking or simply “racks.” Racks are a great way to save space while still being able to produce a sizable amount of cannabis.

One of the great things about racks is that they can easily be customized to fit your growing needs. 

If you are a medium-sized enterprise, our tabletop caster units would be a useful vertical system. On the other hand, if going all out in a warehouse or skyscraper, our customized mobile carriages or vertical grow racks should help you make the most of every square inch of your grow space.

When looking for a vertical system for your indoor grow room, it’s essential to consider a few key factors. Check the rigidity of the systems as they should carry the weight of plants, lighting and irrigation equipment, and even your workers. Moreover, the systems should allow for a good clearance between the canopies and lighting for healthy plants and quality yields.

Step 2: Select Your Lighting Systemcannabis growing vertically under LED lighting systems. indoor grow systems. rolling shelving for vertical farming.

When it comes to growing healthy plants, the light you use is essential. White light, also known as broad spectrum light, is excellent for general growth when growing cannabis vertically. However, pink spectrum light is ideal if you want to encourage blooming and flowering.

The most important thing is to match your light levels to your plant’s needs for optimal growth. Just as too little light will prevent your plants from reaching their full potential, providing the right light intensity can ensure that your plants will be healthy and vibrant.

Moreover, you need to understand the type of light you need for your indoor operation. There are three common types of lights used in indoor cannabis grow rooms.

  • LED lights. They are preferred in vertical growing for their low energy requirements. In addition, you can provide a variety of light spectrums for your cannabis plants as needed.
  • HID lights. They are preferred for their high intensity. However, this becomes an issue with vertical systems due to the close proximity of the lighting and plants; the plants might end up scotched, lowering the bud quality.

Step 3: Choose Your Environment Controlsindoor vertical farming technology for cannabis and hemp. indoor grow systems for cannabis cultivation. plant racks indoor.

Regarding indoor gardening, there are several options for heating and cooling your plants. Depending on your climate and the time of year, you may need to adjust the temperature in your grow room to ensure that your plants are comfortable.

You can heat or cool your grow room in a few different ways.

  • Use a space heater or an air conditioner: Using a space heater or air conditioner is the most effective way to regulate the temperature in your grow space and can help you avoid any drastic fluctuations that could harm your plants.
  • Use a fan to circulate the air and help regulate the temperature:  One of the most important things you can do to regulate the temperature in your marijuana farm is to use a fan. By circulating the air, you can help keep the temperature consistent, which is essential for healthy plants.

When growing cannabis vertically, airflow is important. Good airflow helps to keep the plants healthy and free of mold and mildew. High humidity can lead to increased temperatures, which can be damaging to the plants.

Step 4: Pick a Production MethodInspecting a cannabis bud. vertical shelving for vertical farming. plant rack indoor. grow trays for indoor vertical cannabis grow.

One of the benefits of growing cannabis vertically is that you can save space by utilizing your overhead space. However, this also means that the space in your farm system is limited. To make the most of the area in your system, you’ll want to keep your plants short.

Think of your grow system as a manufacturing facility. The faster you can produce your product, the more valuable you become. Speed becomes even more critical when you can make twice the product you were before.

By using automation, you can speed up your process and get your product to market faster.

Tips On How To Grow Cannabis Vertically

If you want to grow cannabis but don’t have a lot of space, you can try vertical cannabis growing. Here are some tips for vertical cannabis growing:

1. Choose the Right Strain

You’ll want to choose a strain that is best suited for the space you have available. If you want to maximize your space and grow as many plants as possible, you’ll want to choose a strain that has a relatively shorter canopy. You can opt for the fast-growing auto-flowering cannabis seeds or light-sensitive photoperiod seeds.

2. Plan Your Grow Room Properly

As a grower, you want to maximize your yield and pack as many plants into a room as possible. But it would be best if you did not forget that the room also needs to be functional for you. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time there!

Some things to consider when planning your grow room:

  • Installation: When planning your grow room, it’s important to consider the installation process of your vertical marijuana grow system. You’ll need to ensure you have enough space for the system and any other equipment you might need. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the height of your ceilings and the amount of light your grow room will need.
  • Floor plans: These plans are important for your vertical cannabis to grow room. Having a well-designed floor plan can maximize utilization of the available grow space. 
  • Capacity evaluation: When planning your vertical cannabis grow room, it’s important to have a capacity evaluation. How many plants do you want to grow? How much space do you have to work with? What kind of equipment do you need?  Answering these questions will help you determine how to set up your grow room and align your business plan. 

3. Keep Your Watering System Clean

It’s essential to keep your automated watering system’s reservoirs and pipes clean to avoid the risk of salt build-up and the formation of bacteria. Doing so will help keep your plants healthy and your system working correctly. Here are a few tips on how to clean your system’s components:

  • Drain the reservoir and rinse it out with fresh water.
  • Flush the pipes with fresh water.
  • If you notice any build-up of salt or bacteria, clean the affected area with a vinegar solution.

4. Create Better Yields With MMI Solutions

If you’re looking to produce top-quality cannabis, then you’ll need to invest in a cutting-edge vertical grow system. These systems support your plants and help them reach their full potential. Providing the right environment and support ensures that your plants will thrive and produce high-quality cannabis buds.

At MMI Agriculture Solutions, we take pride in offering top-notch systems if you want to grow cannabis vertically. We have a wide range of options so that you can find the perfect design for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a small vertical system for personal use or an extensive system for commercial production, we have you covered. Contact us today for a quote.

4 Sure Fire Ways to Set Up Your Cannabis Vertical Growing System for Success

cannabis buds flowering under led lights

Vertical Growing Systems: The Money Saving Strategy for Indoor Cannabis Growing

Vertical growing systems are the improved ways of cultivating cannabis plants and reaping huge profits. They are a growing field of indoor growing with a promise of helping you make the most of your real estate by allowing you to grow up – utilizing your overhead space.

This approach allows you to utilize your available grow space and brings in major energy savings on ventilation, lighting, humidity, and temperature regulation. 

For example, on lighting, vertical systems leverage LED lights. LED lights allow you to grow at half the heat of HIPs while utilizing the same cooling that would be needed for horizontal farms.

Notably, growing cannabis indoors isn’t your ordinary walk in the park. It has its challenges. However, there are key steps you can follow to ensure maximum yield growing cannabis indoors while using less energy with the help of vertical grow systems.

What Is A Vertical Cannabis Growing System?Cannabis plants growing indoor in Vertical Growing Systems from MMI Agriculture. Vertical farming equipment.

Vertical grow systems or vertical grow rack systems are multiple shelves stacked to create green towers of cannabis. The vertical grow rack systems host the cannabis plants, irrigation equipment, and lighting. 

The systems rely on vertical farming technology.

Vertical farming technology or controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology is a cultivation method that allows you to plant your cannabis canopies indoors. 

CEA technology involves creating the ideal indoor environment that necessitates the growth of your plants. This includes providing nutrients, good airflow, CO2, and light for the plants. All these conditions are provided artificially by using HVACs, CO2 burners, fans, and LED lights.

In addition to tuning the environmental conditions, you need to look into the operation and planning of your grow room. The latter really determines the savings or losses you will make in your grow-op. 

What are these factors to consider in planning for your vertical growing systems?

4 Pro Tips in Setting up Your Vertical Cannabis Growing System for Success

1. Plan the Layout of Your Equipment Engineers planning vertical cannabis growing for indoor cannabis cultivation. Vertical grow racks for sale. Mobile carriages for sale.

One primary consideration with vertical systems is how you will reach the upper tiers. This may necessitate the use of ladders and scaffolding. Therefore one needs to account for this while also ensuring no space is wasted on creating space for aisles.

One key invention is the use of mobile carriages. They are movable shelvings that help eliminate the need for static aisles. The mobile carriages are carried on tracks that allow you to create aisles as needed within the grow space and tend to upper tiers. This helps eliminate static aisles saving even more space. 

In other words, the rows between grow racks systems don’t need to be more than 4 feet wide; hence, if using five static racks, you’ve saved about 10 feet of space by using mobile carriages.

Moreover, you need to have capacity evaluations of your grow space to help you evaluate or reevaluate your business goals for the operation. Planning the layout helps with these calculations refining your business plan. 

Major vertical systems installation companies, in addition to capacity evaluations, do CAD drawings of your available space to ensure every square footage of your space is utilized. Moreover, the CAD designs are customized to every customer’s needs; hence you get what’s ideal for your space while meeting municipal regulations.

2. Consider the Spacing of Crops on Your Vertical Cannabis Growing SystemCannabis plants on vertical grow racks. indoor grow systems. vertical farming. grow room equipment.

The space between your light fixtures and cannabis canopies needs to be regulated. 

Previously, HPS lights were the norm in growing cannabis plants indoors. However, the significant advancements in LED lights and lower price points have brought about a shift in increasing their use.

HPS or High-pressure sodium lights were preferred for their high intensity, which is necessary for growing cannabis. However, with the advent of vertical farming systems, the proximity of plants to the light source would result in scorched plants, hence poor yields.

This resulted in a search for solutions, and this is where Low emitting diodes or LED lights came in. Though more expensive than HPS lights, they are energy-saving and give the right intensity plants need, considering their close proximity without scorching them. 

LED lights can be placed up to 6 inches from the crops without showing signs of light or heat stress.

Therefore you need your vertical farming systems customized to the variety of cannabis plants you’ll be growing. For vertical growing systems, short cannabis varieties are preferred. 

Moreover, you can plant auto-flowering cannabis varieties. These cannabis plants have fast turnover while remaining robust, resilient, and of high quality. They are a bonus if you are starting on commercial vertical farming, as they have low-skill requirements. 

3. Manage microclimates in Your Vertical Cannabis Growing SystemsClimate control concept for cannabis plants and vertical growing. plant rack indoor. growing trays. vertical grow.

Microclimates are one of the major challenges faced by vertical farming facilities. This is because the vertical grow racks and installed lighting can impede proper airflow.

Microclimate refers to any set of atmospheric conditions that differ from the climate surrounding it, typically caused by a lack of air circulation.

Air circulation helps draw away the moisture released by plants during respiration. If the moisture released remains in a particular section of a room, that area will have higher temperatures than the rest, hence the formation of microclimates. 

The cannabis plants will be exposed to different environments, causing different reactions that result in an inconsistent yield quality. Therefore, it’s in the farmer’s best interest to limit the formation of microclimates for a better bottom line.

One key solution to this challenge is installing environmental monitoring software to automate your lighting and ventilation equipment. 

The environment monitoring software leverages sensors mounted throughout your indoor grow room that measure critical parameters like temperature and humidity changes. This will allow you to monitor microclimates’ formation and make the necessary adjustments.

Moreover, there are other interesting solutions, like utilizing frozen slurry piping to localize air conditioning in the vertical grow racks. The frozen slurry is delivered using pipes running throughout your racks, cooling the plants and lighting, lowering the formation of microclimates. 

4. Quality of Vertical Growing System Installation Service Installation Service for Vertical Growing Systems from MMI Agriculture. indoor vertical farming

Embarking on deploying the use of vertical grow racks for your cannabis indoor grow room is an expensive undertaking. This means you must first get it right when purchasing your vertical farming systems. 

Partnering with the right vertical farming systems installation company is paramount to ensuring you don’t get it wrong at the onset.

MMI Agriculture is a vertical growing systems installation company available in all states where cannabis is legal, like California, Arizona, Alaska, and WashingtonDC. We provide customized vertical grow racks built for rigidity and durability.

Moreover, we offer installation services backed with a 10-year warranty on parts and labor. This ensures you get vertical systems that get you started well and long after, helping you focus on maximizing profits and improving operations.

Get Started With Vertical Growing System For Your Cannabis Indoor Grow Today

Success getting started, or upgrading to vertical farming systems is easy but can also turn ugly if you aren’t in step with all it entails. 

For a start, you need your grow space mapped out and the spacing between racks well defined. Then cater to your plants’ well-being by eliminating microclimates and finally partner with a competent vertical systems installation company.

At MMI Agriculture, we offer expertise in vertical grow racks systems planning and installation. Contact us today for a quote. 

Vertical Cannabis Farming: Growing Cannabis The Profitable Way

profitable cannabis

Vertical Cannabis Farming: The Future Of Cannabis Cultivation

Vertical cannabis farming is a profitable way to increase your grow facility’s capacity and thus expand your business.

Indoor cannabis farming has traditionally been done on horizontal farms with the help of complex lighting and ventilation systems. However, over time, there’s been an increased demand for efficiency and sustainability in indoor cannabis growing.

Vertical cannabis farming is an intelligent cultivation setup that boosts yield through increased efficiency.  

The major hurdle with growing cannabis indoors is managing space to maximize the grow space capacity. 

The more plants you can grow and harvest within a year, the more gains you will make from your grow op. 

Vertical farming is a method of growing cannabis indoors that leverages Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology to produce high-quality cannabis year-round. 

This farming method is rising in popularity and is increasingly being accepted as a profitable way to maximize an indoor grow output.

What Is Vertical Cannabis Farming?

Cannabis plant growing is a vertical cannabis farming set up. rolling shelving for indoor cannabis grow operation. indoor grow systems form cannabis and hemp.

Vertical cannabis farming is the practice of growing cannabis in vertically stacked layers.  

Vertical farming rides on CEA technology for its success. CEA is an intensive form of hydroponically- based agriculture where the cannabis grows within a controlled environment. 

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in nutrient-enriched water, which uses 98% less water than traditional cultivation methods.

Vertical farming is essentially a technology-based approach to farming. 

It entails using technologies such as HVACs, ACs, lighting, and irrigation systems to artificially create climatic conditions that allow plants to grow. These systems regulate the humidity, temperature, CO2 levels, and light the plants require for maximum yield.

Adopting the farming method has resulted in some significant advancements in indoor cannabis farming.

One of those advancements includes the shift from using HPS grow lights to using LED lights in growing cannabis plants. 

HPS lights emit much more heat, which could scorch and damage the plants. LED lights became preferable for indoor cultivation, especially in vertical farming. The LED lights produce less heat facilitating the proximity between lights and plants common with using vertical systems.

Other key innovations like the mezzanine walkway improve worker productivity and safety as they reach for plants higher up in the vertical systems.

Types of Cannabis Vertical Farming

There are different approaches to growing cannabis vertically. The cannabis plants can be planted on shelves, columns, or walls. All of which are divided into two categories.

1. Stacked Vertical

Man inspecting plants growing in a vertical farming facility. Cannabis Vertical Farming and indoor grow systems. plant racks indoor. vertical shelving.

Stacked vertical grow is simply one horizontal farm on top of another. 

The lights can run through the top of each stacked tier. In addition, the irrigation systems run through the hydroponic trays that house the grow medium for the cannabis plants.

On the other hand, the shelvings can be arranged in a square formation around a central light source.

The key to a successful stacked vertical cannabis grow is keeping the plants short. You can consider growing the auto-flowering cannabis varieties. They grow fast and are easy to manage, even for a beginner.

2. True Vertical

True vertical plant growth. indoor grow systems for cannabis. indoor grow room. vertical cannabis farming.

With true vertical grow, the plants grow out the side of a column.

The method employs the nutrient film technique (NFT) and aeroponics to provide nutrients and water to the cannabis plants.

Aeroponics is a soilless growing method where the roots are exposed to air, then NFT incorporated, where nutrient water is passed directly over the roots.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vertical Cannabis Farming

As with every other cultivation method, vertical cannabis farming has merits and demerits. 

As a prospective vertical cannabis farmer, you need to assess your target for the grow space and, from that basis, create a model that works for your operation.

Advantages of Vertical Cannabis Farming

Hemp plants growing on vertical shelving with vertical cannabis farming technology. 1020 trays. vertical grow system

1. Reliable Year-Round Cannabis Production

Vertical farming is not dependent on weather. This means you can have consistent year-round crop production without worrying about adverse weather conditions affecting the quality of your yields.

In addition, vertical farming incorporates automation allowing for repeatable programmable production. Therefore, you can meet customer demand with the increased acreage while maintaining high-quality flavor and potency. 

2. Optimal Use of Space

In traditional farming, you need several acres of fertile land to produce high cannabis yields. 

However, with vertical farming stacking technology, you can expand the available acreage by three or more times.

Using technologies like vertical grow racks, you can use your warehouse’s overhead space to grow more cannabis canopies.

Vertical grow racks are made of steel, enabling them to carry the weight of your canopies and irrigation systems. Furthermore, the rebars used to support your grow trays make it simple and seamless to integrate your lighting systems.

We do, also, have mobile carriages. These are completely rust-proof systems propelled by heavy-duty flange wheels and bar tracks. 

The flange wheels are secure and fit snugly on our rigged bar tracks, eliminating the possibility of racking or tipping. As a result, your valuable cargo is safe and able to be moved with ease

Furthermore, the mobile carriage vertical systems bar rack is strong enough to support multiple tiers.

These systems are unique in that they are customized to fit the space to the maximum capacity. 

3. Low Labor Costs and Enhanced Worker Safety

Vertical systems are designed with worker safety and efficiency in mind. 

Configuring your vertical cannabis farm with an automated growing system eliminates some of the labor demand on your business.

The automated systems irrigate your plants, fertilize, and regulate the humidity, temperature, and lighting. This ensures consistency in your yields and allows your workers to only focus on inspecting and harvesting your cannabis canopies.

Vertical farming has low labor overhead costs, allowing you to scale without incurring additional costs.

Moreover, indoor farming protects workers from the hazards of heavy farming machinery and exposure to harmful farm chemicals. 

Vertical farming is an approach that boasts of using low agricultural chemicals like herbicides and pesticides as the enclosed system reduces the chances of the plants being contaminated.

Disadvantages of Vertical Cannabis Farming

1. Technology Dependent

For a farmer to maintain the required climatic conditions for cannabis to grow, they have to utilize various equipment such as grow lights, HVACs, and CO2 burners.

Any hitch with these technologies can be detrimental to the health of your plants and, as a result, impact your bottom line. 

Therefore, regular maintenance of your equipment is critical to ensuring maximum output. Also, it’s crucial to have backup power to ensure your systems are always operational.

2. High Startup Costs

At the onset of growing cannabis indoors, purchasing quality grow equipment can increase startup costs. There’s a demand to acquire advanced climate control systems, vertical grow racks, and sensors, which aren’t cheap.

However, in the long-run vertical growing of cannabis proves cost-effective as there’s no need for additional adjustments than starting with horizontal farms and then transitioning. 

Start Your Vertical Cannabis Farming Op Today

Vertical cannabis farming is a popular cultivation method helping revolutionize the industry. It’s a technology-based practice that boosts acreage per square foot by utilizing vertical grow racks with multiple shelving.  

Thanks to advancements in the industry, farmers can now plant all year regardless of climatic conditions, increasing their profits.

MMI Agriculture is a vertical systems specialist company that installs vertical systems for cannabis cultivators. Whatever type of indoor space you have (warehouse or skyscraper),  we have a professional team to help you design and install our cutting-edge vertical systems.

So, are you planning to begin or transition into vertical cannabis farming? Contact us today.

4 Money-Saving Ideas To Complete Before Converting To A Vertical Farming Facility

Grodan blocks on trays in vertical racks

4 Things To Know Before Converting To A Vertical Farming Facility

Here are some of the things to consider before setting up a vertical farming facility.

With the growing human population and demand for resources, the availability of arable land has dwindled. 

Moreover, with the increased use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and shrinking water reserves, there has been a call for improving the agricultural sector.

These gaps have resulted in innovation and creativity, with experts devising alternative strategies to traditional farming, such as vertical farming. These innovations focus on utilizing less space, increasing yield per unit area, and lowering water usage. 

In addition, the increased demand for healthier and more quality food free of agrichemicals has fueled the need for these critical innovations.

One popular advancement has been the creation of vertical farming facilities. These facilities are built on a concept known as vertical farming. 

Vertical farming is an indoor cultivation method that aims to increase output vertically rather than horizontally. Vertical farming is a multilayer indoor growing system in which all growth factors such as humidity, light, temperature, water, and nutrients are controlled.

With this in mind, starting or converting an indoor grow space into a vertical farming facility is no easy task. 

Considering some top vertical farming companies like Bowery farms, it’s a delicate process that demands high expertise and planning to ensure a successful operation.

What are the requirements for establishing and operating a successful cannabis vertical farming facility? Here are our top five recommendations.

4 Top Tips to Consider Before Converting to a Vertical Farming Facility

1. Get the Basics of How CEA Technology Works

Cannabis plants thriving in a vertical farming facility using vertical grow racks & mobile carriages.

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is growing crops under controlled environmental conditions to reduce pests and disease, increase efficiency and sustainability and lower the overall cost of production. 

At the heart of CEA is automation to control the enclosed ecosystem better. Automation is employed to regulate the plants’ humidity, CO2 levels, temperature, light, and nutrition.

Automation helps you have an integrated climate control system that overall helps bring down your energy costs.

In the less ideal case, some growers may opt to have separate controls for their HVAC, CO2 burners, lighting, and irrigation which unfortunately aren’t” speaking to each other.” This scenario brings in a loss as you can have your CO2 burners on and the exhaust fan cooling your space simultaneously, which results in wasting the CO2 created.

The ideal scenario is to have your equipment staggered where they are turned on each at a time. This strategy can also help prevent energy spikes, increasing your utility costs.

For example, when lowering the temperature in your cannabis vertical farming facility, you can turn on the fans and exhaust system before turning on the power-intensive ACs to aim for the optimal growing temperature.

2. Select the Growing Media

Cannabis seedlings sprouting in a vertical farming facility and cannabis grow room in the USA. Vertical racks, mobile carriages, and cannabis grow rooms.

Indoor gardening in a vertical farming facility can be done in various ways. 

On the one hand, there’s hydroponics, a soilless cultivation method that leverages scheduled irrigation of nutrient-enriched water. It’s a common method in professional cannabis vertical farming operations. 

The system works best with an automated irrigation system programmed to the plant’s needs and growth cycle. The grow medium used needs to allow for aeration as it impacts the water economy of the plant and its ability to utilize nutrients.

Another method is aquaponics. It’s a system where nutrients circulate from fish to plants and back. However, it’s not a popular method because it wastes water and increases the risk of plant root disease. Moreover, because the fish tanks may require regular and timely maintenance, it does not allow for year-round crop production.

Finally, there’s aquaponics, where roots are exposed and fed with nutrient-rich fog. This method relies heavily on automation and time-consuming technical problems may affect the plant’s nutrition, impacting their overall health and yield. 

It’s important to note that in indoor vertical farming, the grow medium isn’t necessarily the source of nutrients for the plants. 

Regardless of whether an organic grow medium such as soil, coconut husks, sphagnum moss, or peat is used, it is fertilizers that are used to provide nutrients to the cannabis plants.

The growing medium’s purpose is to host or support the roots and promote root aeration. All of these functions should be facilitated by the medium you choose for your cannabis vertical farming facility.

3. Plan Your Vertical Farming Facility

Designers planning a vertical cannabis grow operation in the USA. indoor grow systems for cannabis. rolling shelving.

Whether you are just starting out or converting your horizontal operation to a vertical farming facility, planning your grow room is central to your success.

Vertical farming is considered a commercial venture, and with it comes a demand for an increased workforce, advanced climate control equipment, expertise, and workflow management.

Moreover, by utilizing the overhead space, you increase the capacity of your grow space, and the multiplied cannabis canopies will necessitate the refinement of your plant processing and harvesting technique.

Partnering with the right vertical systems installer entails having them design floor plans to maximize the use of your grow space. The planning helps ensure the vertical systems are customized to the dimensions of your grow space, allowing you to make the best use of your real estate while staying within municipal regulations.

In addition, they can help you do capacity evaluations which can help you refine your business plan projections.

By combining these factors, we can install efficient and long-lasting vertical grow systems for your vertical farming facility.

4. Capital Required for Converting Into a Vertical Farming Facility

Financial planner forecasting costs for a vertical farming cannabis grow operation. rolling shelving. plant racks indoor. vertical grow & indoor vertical farming.

Vertical farming is a capital-intensive business with high operation and equipment costs. The key to overcoming financial hurdles along the way is practicing a feasibility study to help clearly define your expectations.

According to various expert vertical farming companies, there are hidden costs that growers should recognize before converting to a vertical farming facility. They include:

  • Permit acquisitions. These are elusive fees that can prove costly. However, with a credible vertical systems installer, it’s something you shouldn’t miss.
  • Input costs like power and fertilizers.  
  • Wrong choice of seed strain to plant. When starting your vertical farm, there are different types of seed strains you can cultivate. 

For example, as a startup vertical farming facility, auto-flowering cannabis varieties are preferable for their quick turnover and require low management skills. But as an expert grower, cannabis photoperiod feminized seeds are better as their growth cycle help save on energy costs.

  • Equipment maintenance. Maintenance costs are a factor that needs constant monitoring.
  • Hiring and maintaining experts in the management and operation of the vertical farming facility. 
  • Venturing into the wrong market. When choosing the best place for starting your vertical farm, look into markets that have legalized recreational and medicinal cannabis, such as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Illinois, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Build a Profitable Cannabis Vertical Farming Facility

When ready to convert into a cannabis vertical farming facility, first arm yourself with some basic CEA technology knowledge. Then, have your grow room design and growing medium/cultivation method figured out.

Finally, find the best vertical farming systems installer for your grow facility. At MMI Agriculture, we specialize in vertical farming systems installation, offering premier products such as vertical grow racks and mobile carriages designed to help you get the most out of your grow space.

In addition to installation, we provide a 10-year warranty on equipment and labour to support your success in the vertical farming space. Contact us today for a quote.

5 Expert Tips For A Profitable Cannabis Commercial Grow Setup

cannabis growing under led lights

Top Tips For Setting Up A Commercial Grow Room For Cannabis

It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is thriving, with markets like Washington state seeing total sales of up to $2 billion since recreational cannabis was legalized in 2014.  At the backbone of this industry is cannabis cultivation, where you need to get your figures right when establishing your commercial grow setup. 

Indoor cannabis farming is a prominent part of the cultivation industry. This type of cultivation has major advantages as well as challenges in setting up and running. 

A key factor to ensuring the smooth running cannabis indoor grow op is having your commercial grow setup meticulously planned.

Lighting, HVAC, irrigation, and cultivation systems are part of your commercial grow setup. Also, consider your floor space and the plant varieties you want to grow. All these elements contribute to your indoor grow setup, and strategically implementing them puts you on the road to success.

So, how do you design a profitable cannabis commercial grow setup?

5 Expert Tips For Profitable Cannabis Grow Room Setup

What do you need for the perfect cannabis grow setup?

1. Purchase The Right Vertical Equipment For Your Cannabis Grow SetupVertical grow racks for a commercial grow setup for cannabis marijuana vertical farming.

You can’t say you are starting a cannabis commercial indoor grow room without having uprights in your space. 

Uprights, also known as vertical growing systems, are vertically stacked layers where you can grow and manage your cannabis canopies. They are available in various forms, such as vertical grow racks and mobile carriages.

Vertical grow racks are important for your commercial grow setup as they allow you to utilize the overhead space, increasing your acreage over every square foot of your repurposed warehouse, skyscraper, or even a shipping container.

Vertical systems come in various materials such as wood and steel. They both serve the purpose, but steel structures are preferred due to their sturdiness, ability to withstand damage and lower likelihood of harboring diseases and pests.

Another key advantage of using vertical systems is that they help save on water, utilizing 95% less water than traditional cultivation systems. 

On the other hand, mobile carriages add versatility to your commercial grow setup because they not only hold more cannabis canopies but also help maximize your floor space. They aid in the elimination of static aisles. If you want to access a system, you only need to create an aisle and tend to the plants.  

2. Choose The Right Seeds/ Strain For Your Cannabis Grow SetupSeeds in a wooden bowl next to cannabis leaf. Choosing seeds for your commercial grow setup for cannabis.

Every commercial grow setup may demand a different type of strain. 

For example, suppose you are doing vertical farming. In that case, you may need a short cannabis strain to facilitate the multiple layers and allow spacing between the lighting and canopies for each tier. 

However, because there is plenty of headroom in horizontal farms, you have more freedom to grow tall varieties.

Furthermore, auto-flowering seed varieties are recommended when starting an indoor commercial grow operation. These seeds have a quick turnover, fewer complications with managing light cycles, can fit in small spaces while remaining robust and resilient, and are an excellent choice for easily developing high-quality weed.

However, for more experienced growers, photoperiod feminized seeds are a suitable choice. These seed types demand the farmer to have basic cultivation knowledge and specialized grow equipment. 

Regardless, they have various perks, including the ability to control the size and shape of the plants as well as their vegetative cycle. This means you can save on energy costs as they require less light than auto-flowering varieties during bloom.

It’s important to note that only female cannabis plants can produce potent bud-rich produce. Therefore it’s crucial to prevent pollen contamination and avoid having male seedlings in your grow space. Pollination compromises the bud quality of the female plants as they tend to form seeds affecting your yields. 

3. Choose Good Lighting For Your Cannabis Grow SetupCannabis plants growing under high quality LED lights in a commercial cannabis grow facility wharehouse.

In a cannabis commercial grow room, there are three primary types of grow lights: LED, HID, and Fluorescent grow lights.

Each grow light has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as a distinct purpose based on your needs.

High-intensity discharge (HID) lights have long been used in indoor growing. However, their popularity waned over time due to their excessive energy consumption and proclivity for scorching plants. They’re best, though, if your grow-op specializes in auto-flowering seed varieties.

Autoflowering cannabis plants have a fast growth cycle. Because of their high light intensity/potency, HIDs can handle their quick cycle. As a result, the potency of this grow light provides the necessary parameters for these plants during their brief existence.

On the other hand, we have LEDs. The low-emmiting diode (LED) grow lights bring in the dynamic slow-growing feminized seeds need. LEDs have grown in popularity due to their low energy consumption despite a high price point.

Feminized seeds take a longer time to get to the flowering stage; hence a grow light that can remain sustainable in the long growth cycle is key to a good commercial grow room setup design. LEDs, in this case, have low energy waste and won’t scorch your plants. 

Fluorescent lights are not common in grow spaces. But they can be useful in supplementing other types of grow lights. Also, they can be used in small spaces like tabletop caster units, and due to their low heat, they can be positioned near the cannabis canopies.

4. Save On Your Cannabis Grow Setup Energy Costs Save money on electricity concept photo. Vertical farming equipment for indoor marijuana grow operation.

Energy bills are responsible for the high production cost associated with cannabis indoor cultivation. The first step toward lowering your energy bills is to conduct an energy audit. This audit will help you figure out where you’re bleeding and what you need to do about it.

Incorporating an integrated climate control system that manages your HVAC, lighting, CO2, and irrigation is key to lowering energy costs. 

Most growers have equipment run by separate controls; this introduces a great inefficiency as the different commercial indoor grow systems don’t communicate.

You can resolve these inefficiencies through automation. Automation helps stagger your equipment avoiding energy spikes. Equipment staggering means having your commercial grow systems like HVAC and humidifiers turn on at different times. 

For example, if you have five units, instead of having all of them on simultaneously (causing an energy spike that can peak your energy bill), turn them on one at a time to lower the grow room temperature gradually.

Insulating your grow room also allows you to keep the temperature stable for longer periods without having to use your air conditioning.

The foundation of good ventilation is making sure the commercial indoor grow systems are in optimal working condition. This is as ascertained by good maintenance of your commercial indoor growing systems.

5. Partner With A Good Commercial Indoor Grow Systems Installation Company

Experts are needed to construct the best commercial grow setup, whether it’s for your HVAC, lighting, vertical system, or irrigation system.

When it comes to vertical farming systems, MMI Agriculture has the experience and equipment to get you started or transition into vertical farming systems.

We get you started with a free floor plan/drawing that ensures you get the most of your grow room space. 

Furthermore, if you require a capacity assessment to provide a mental picture that streamlines your expectations for predicted yields with vertical systems, please contact us.

Finally, we provide and install our unique vertical systems, designed to be functional and long-lasting.

Get Started On Creating The Ideal Cannabis Grow Room Setup

When creating the ideal cannabis grow room setup, you need to know the right equipment to purchase and have a monitoring system that ensures you keep costs low and profits high.

At MMI Agriculture, we provide you with reliable and durable vertical farming equipment backed with a 10-year warranty on the systems and installation service.

Contact us today for a quote.