- iFarm, renowned for IT-enabled agriculture, has finalized its indoor radish cultivation technology.
- After three years of rigorous experimentation, iFarm has discovered the perfect formula for maximum radish yields with a mere 3% defect rate.
- Challenges such as selecting suitable radish varieties, adjusting temperatures, and creating an ideal nutrient solution were addressed.
- iFarm’s advanced approach promises reduced production costs by nearly 30% in upcoming iterations.
iFarm, a leading name in IT-powered agriculture within controlled environments, has marked another feather in its cap by unveiling its first technologies tailored for indoor radish farming. With three years of painstaking research, iFarm’s team of expert agronomists has formulated the optimal techniques to ensure prolific radish yields with an impressively low defect rate throughout the year.
Traditionally, radishes have posed a challenge for farmers inside and outside controlled environments. In colder climates, it’s a familiar sight to spot radish beds ensconced in black plastic, shielding them from direct sunlight and excessive daylight – conditions detrimental to the successful germination of these delicate crops.
Regardless of the cultivation environment, it’s pivotal to foster the perfect conditions and pick sturdy radish varieties to ensure a substantial yield. This becomes even more paramount in controlled-environment agriculture. Here, the selection of varieties and the cultivation techniques need to be meticulously customized to match the unique conditions of enclosed farms.
In their quest to revolutionize radish farming in vertical setups, iFarm’s team embarked on rigorous testing, experimenting with many radish varieties. The summer of 2023 witnessed intense trials with seeds sourced from renowned producers Rijk Zwaan and Gavrish within iFarm’s cutting-edge lab farm.
Nikolay Podvigin, a seasoned agronomist in iFarm’s R&D wing, elaborated on the journey: “Our approach was comprehensive. Not only did we screen and handpick the hardiest radish varieties from these renowned producers, but we also fine-tuned many parameters – from perfecting the temperature range to calibrating the sowing rate and devising a bespoke nutrient solution. The microclimate, too, was carefully adjusted. The cumulative effect of these measures brought down the defect rate to an almost negligible 3%.”
Despite their best efforts, the journey was fraught with hurdles. Attempts to cultivate radishes in mini-greenhouses or soaking the seeds failed to yield satisfactory results. As Nikolai recounted, “The plants simply refused to grow optimally. They were either minuscule or grotesquely deformed, with the defect rate skyrocketing to 30%.”
Through persistent efforts, the team uncovered the sweet spot for radish cultivation: nighttime temperatures of 19 °C and daytime temperatures hovering around 22 °C. Coupled with their novel seeding and nutrition techniques, the results were stellar.
Radishes are primarily cultivated on mineral wool or peat substrates within vertical farms powered by iFarm technologies. On average, iFarm’s indoor vertical farms yield an impressive 5.56 kg of radishes per square meter monthly.
Future endeavors at iFarm aim to experiment with new radish varieties under heightened light intensity and innovative nutritional techniques. This ambitious endeavor promises to slash production expenses by almost one-third, further cementing iFarm’s position at the vanguard of agricultural innovation.
Image provided by iFarm