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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349914

Research Project: Advancing Water Management and Conservation in Irrigated Arid Lands

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Title: Advances in greenhouse automation and controlled environment agriculture: A transition to plant factories and urban farming

item SHAMSHIRI, REDMOND - Universiti Putra Malaysia
item KALANTARI, FATEMEHEH - Universiti Putra Malaysia
item TING, K - University Of Illinois
item Thorp, Kelly
item HAMEED, IBRAHIM - Norwegian University
item WELTZIEN, CORNELIA - Leibniz Institute
item AHMAD, DESA - Universiti Putra Malaysia
item SHAD, ZAHRA - Universiti Putra Malaysia

Submitted to: International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/26/2018
Publication Date: 1/31/2018
Publication URL:
Citation: Shamshiri, R.R., Kalantari, F., Ting, K.C., Thorp, K.R., Hameed, I.A., Weltzien, C., Ahmad, D., Shad, Z.M. 2018. Advances in greenhouse automation and controlled environment agriculture: A transition to plant factories and urban farming. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. 11(1):1-22.

Interpretive Summary: The manuscript reviews the state-of-the-art in cultivation of plants with greenhouse and controlled-environment agricultural technologies. Four topics are considered: viability of the technology, environmental monitoring techniques, strategies for environmental control and optimization, and opportunities for urban agriculture. The manuscript provides useful information for researchers and practitioners in the areas of controlled-environment agriculture, vertical farming, rooftop greenhouses, plant factories, and crop production in urban environments.

Technical Abstract: Greenhouse cultivation has evolved from simple covered rows of open-fields crops to highly sophisticated controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facilities that projected the image of plant factories for urban farming. The advances and improvements in CEA have promoted the scientific solutions for the efficient production of plants in populated cities and multi-story buildings. Successful deployment of CEA for urban farming requires many components and subsystems, as well as the understanding of the external influencing factors that should be systematically considered and integrated. This review is an attempt to highlight some of the most recent advances in greenhouse technology and CEA in order to raise the awareness for technology transfer and adaptation, which is necessary for a successful transition to urban farming. We reviewed several aspects of a high-tech CEA system including improvements in the frame and covering materials, environment perception and data sharing, and advanced microclimate control and energy optimization models. We have highlighted urban agriculture and its derivatives, including vertical farming, rooftop greenhouses and plant factories which are the extensions of CEA, and have emerged as a response to the growing population, environmental degradation, and urbanization that are threatening food security. Finally, we identified several opportunities and challenges in implementing the integrated CEA and vertical farming for urban agriculture.