Danville’s Institute to partner with Virginia Tech on indoor farming facility
An indoor farming facility is coming to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research through a partnership with Virginia Tech.
The Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center will grow plants in a soilless system, said Institute spokeswoman Allison Moore.
“It exposes the roots of the crops to nutrient-rich water and gives it the exact amount of water it’s needed to grow,” Moore said Tuesday morning.
The Institute will launch the program with Virginia Tech’s School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the school’s Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“They will have staff help us head up this venture,” Moore said. “We’ll partner with them on using this technology. It’s a way to convene academia, industry and the community in a way to help us understand how indoor farming can benefit the region and be an economic solution for farmers.”
Institute Director Mark Gignac said equipment should arrive in about eight to 10 weeks.
The project is about engaging producers in the region, Gignac said.
“This is really about working with industry and growers,” he said.
The center will be housed in an existing greenhouse complex on the Institute’s campus. It will be converted into a more modern facility for the center. The work should take about two months and the modern greenhouse complex will be about 4,200 square feet, Moore said.
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