Amidst the increasing threat of extreme weather events, some American plant growers have turned to using used shipping containers to make compact and versatile indoor farms to grow crops 365 days a year.
Aside from the growing unreliability of cropping seasons, the state of Colorado in the United States has also been experiencing an increasing frequency of heat waves and extreme snow storms. The worsening trend is making farming more difficult for many local plant growers.
To combat extreme weather events and establish a reliable source of high-quality produce year-round, a startup company in Colorado has begun transforming old shipping containers into Artificial Intelligence (AI)-aided indoor farms. All environmental parameters inside the containers are analyzed and controlled. AI and machine learning allow the system and the plant growers to learn and apply the best environmental conditions for their crops.
According to Nick Millisor, an owner of a shipment container farm, the compactness of the indoor environment allows growers to easily modify parameters and make farm processes more efficient. With increased availability, these setups may make farming more accessible to urban communities and areas with limited crop suitability.
Colorado State University’s Denver Extension fellow Dan Goldhamer shared that while there is no one-size-fits-all solution in agriculture, these innovations will help keep communities cope with the challenges brought about by climate change.