AmplifiedAg received a contract award 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 agency's location.
"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," says Don Taylor, CEO and Founder of AmplifiedAg.
The lab has succeeded in cultivating rice-, berry- and sweet potato crops
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.
AmplifiedAg's vertical farming labs - 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.
Because every research program has a different set of requirements - whether it is conducted by a government agency such as the USDA, a university, corporation, or NGO - the interior hardware and layout of AmpLAB are designed to be customizable to accommodate the study of an unlimited variety of cultivars.
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 collaborates with farms to develop healthy fruits and vegetable transplants for greenhouse and field production.
"The adoption of indoor agriculture technology is paramount in addressing the challenges that impact our global food and agricultural systems, and we're proud to support and are motivated by the collaboration and research efforts put forth by these organizations," adds Don.