Development of an automated ion-specific fertigation management system
Vertical farming is a revolutionary idea that would allow cities a greater self-sufficiency by growing plants locally with maximum productivity. This technique responds to the challenges posed by the projected decreasing farmland availability, growing population and increased urbanization. A strong growth of vertical farming can be expected for the next decade. A crucial advantage of vertical farming over conventional farming is the more efficient control of all cultivation parameters like climate condition or nutrient concentrations as well as the recovery of water. Hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic culture are important technologies involved in vertical farming to grow value plant based raw materials, vegetables, flowers, herbs, selected fruits, seedlings, and fish year-round. Currently nutrient solution management is limited to adjusting the conductivity and pH of the solution by supplying stock solutions with fixed ion ratios. Ion specific nutrient management, based on ion selective electrodes (ISE) holds the potential to increase nutrient use efficiency and yields through continuous monitoring and adjustment of ion concentrations. In an Indo-German research project an automated sensor system for a highly efficient nutrient management in vertical farms shall be developed (SensVert). The main goal of the SensVert project is to develop an automated ion-specific fertigation management (ISFM) for vertical farming systems. Based on a better understanding of the plant-environment-interactions, optimized strategies for nutrient supply can be developed.
Mempel, H., Hasan, M., Bourouah, M., Singh, S., Mani, I., Kumar, L., Paradkar, V., Abel, M., Wittmann, S. and Jüttner, I. (2023). Development of an automated ion-specific fertigation management system. Acta Hortic. 1369, 179-184
vertical farming, ion selective electrodes (ISE), nutrient management