USDA-ARS U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory adds vertical farming labs
AmplifiedAg, an agricultural technology company focused in controlled environment agriculture (CEA), was awarded the contract from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Fort Pierce, Florida to supply vertical farming research labs to the agency’s Horticultural Research Laboratory.
The labs will be customized to carry out CEA vegetable production research unique to the Fort Pierce laboratory.
AmplifiedAg has also supplied 16 vertical farming labs to the USDA-ARS U.S. Vegetable Research Lab in Charleston, South Carolina, designed to support its wide range of CEA research in vegetable growing processes, LED spectrum analysis, renewable energy, plant pathology, and plant breeding and selection for controlled environments.
“The USDA has done a tremendous job of supporting research efforts in controlled environment agriculture, urban farming, and sustainable farming practices, and we’re extremely proud to be a provider for their continued innovation and research at ARS laboratories across the country,” Don Taylor, CEO and founder of AmplifiedAg, said.
In addition to supplying labs for third-party research, AmplifiedAg has an extensive R&D program that includes CEA cultivation of tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, potatoes, rice, medicinal herbs and saplings such as Loblolly pines. The company is also collaborating with farms on the development of healthy fruits and vegetable transplants for greenhouse and field production.
AmplifiedAg’s vertical farming labs, known as AmpLAB, are purpose-built research modules complete with a hydroponic propagation station and NFT channels for dual growing functions, and are fully integrated with proprietary environmental control systems and a SaaS-based farm software platform for total lab management. The software’s data collection enables USDA scientists with informed analysis to expedite research data. To create an all-encompassing laboratory, AmpLAB also includes a certified food-safe work zone with storage, sinks and a dedicated workspace for researchers for experimentation and analysis in a clean, controlled environment.