US Agriculture Alone Consumes One Billion Pounds of Pesticides Every Year

  • However you feel about pesticides in farming, an argument can be made that demand warrants its use: when you grow so much food outside, pesticides prevent catastrophic crop loss from pests and the foodborne pathogens they carry.

  • But how much is too much? When pesticides leach into the groundwater, they can cause severe environmental and health issues to whole communities and ecosystems.

  • That’s exactly where indoor vertical farming plans to turn the pesticide paradigm on its ear. In many ways, indoor VF insulates plants from the external variables that lead to contamination, all while making pesticides wholly unnecessary for agriculture.

  • But the truth is, it’s not as easy as merely switching from traditional farming to a VF system.

Foodborne Illnesses Make Hundreds of Millions Sick

    E. coli, listeria, salmonella, and other foodborne illnesses kill an estimated 3,000 people in the US every year. There is perhaps no greater responsibility to agriculture than to prevent this type of contamination from spreading through plants, infecting crops, and compromising the health of farm workers and customers.

    In many ways, CEA facilities avoid significant disease vectors common in traditional agriculture:

    • Better control over their water: Many pathogens are introduced to an irrigation system through feces from livestock or improperly maintained compost.
    • Shorter supply chain: Decreasing the distance between the farm and the table broadly minimizes the potential for contamination risk.

    But any of the safeguards that these indoor farms gain by design are wholly dependent on the farm’s commitment to a higher standard overall. Contamination is still possible through other avenues:

    • Upstream impurities from seeds and substrates.
    • Bacterial growth in humid grow rooms or unclean irrigation systems.
    • Unsanitary processing of crops by hand or by machine.

    The real solution is not just any CEA facility, but a well-designed one. Great CEA remains diligent against the threat of contamination and is better equipped to create and maintain sanitary and sanitizing processes when supported by vertical farming systems designed to be cleaned and engineered to combat bacterial and fungal growth.

Prevent Contamination with Montel VF Systems

  • To adequately fight against contamination, indoor VF systems require active and passive assistance—antimicrobial hardware (active) and the ability to create easily executable programs for clean operation (passive).

  • Montel’s GROWRAK TM 2.0, along with our many other cutting-edge high-density grow systems, is protected by a specially designed powder-coated white paint:

    • Ultra-reflective
    • FDA-approved
    • Antimicrobial
    • Resistant to fungus

  • Moreover, we’ve designed and engineered all our VF hardware for deep cleaning and as an active defense against contamination:

    • No end panels: Without the dark, hard-to-reach spaces hidden behind end panels, your vertical grow system will have fewer places for mold and bacteria to hide and propagate and thus make carriages easier to clean thoroughly.
    • No standing water: Open channel beams, sloped trays, and optional wire mesh decking will minimize breeding pools of standing water.
    • Customizable bracing: However you plan to light or ventilate your crops, we can design a high-density VF system with the right clearance for optimal airflow and lighting, minimizing the growth and spread of contaminants.

  • For the best in high-density indoor vertical farming, contact your local Authorized Montel Distributor and ask for a free, no-obligation consultation today. Our AMDs will create 2D and 3D renderings of VF systems that will keep your indoor farm or greenhouse free of contamination while operating at peak efficiency and crop output.

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