Controlled environment agriculture is growing rapidly, according to a new report from CoBank.
Controlled environment agriculture, a technology-based approach toward food production to use optimal growing conditions, often indoors, occurs in all 50 states, but the vast majority of the large facilities growing tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are in the Northeast, West and Southwest.
CoBank says technological advancements and consumer demand for fresh, local and year-round supplies of high-quality produce are growing the controlled environment agriculture industry. A researcher for CoBank says that although there is a steep learning curve, and the practice is costly, demand means the segment “is likely to continue growing for the next five years.”
Those barriers are not stopping growers from entering the market at high rates according to the report, partially due to the price premiums and significantly higher yields that technology, such as hydroponics, provides.