Indoor growing has become a popular trend that has many advantages over farming the land. This includes growing all year long despite weather conditions, increasing yields, and using less water cutting down on pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. This trend can even reconnect consumers with how their food grows and the process of how it gets to their plate.
With the increase in indoor growing facilities there has been a similar increase in technology used to “solve” many farm labor issues. One of the most common pitfalls with indoor farms is not focusing on the labor they hire to maintain their growing facilities.
Growing your own crops whether it be commercially or in a greenhouse takes a person with experience to make a greater yield potential. A plant just like any animal or human being is a living organism and just like any living thing, there are more variables that technology can’t always pick up.
Finding and developing quality farm laborers is critical to a successful indoor growing facility. This can even be more difficult if you yourself are not an expert in agronomics. It can be easy to fall back on technology to determine a plants-controlled environment in temperature, membranes, nutrients, or water intake. However, not only does technology require highly skilled workers to analyze this data, but the data received from these devices should only be used to help inform decisions. Do not ever gamble your indoor farm with technology.
“Remember labor will always be the turning point to a successful indoor farm.”
Developing quality farm laborers takes time and education, but the benefits are limitless. Not only will your growers appreciate working for you more because of the time you put into developing them, but they will also work harder and provide more detailed feedback on your operations. A quality farm laborer is commonly known to be someone who has the “Green Thumb” or the sixth sense.
What I mean by this, is once your growers become educated and have experience in working in similar operations with similar crops, they can walk into your facility instantly knowing what is wrong with a plant and how to improve your operations to decrease cost and increase yield. What technology lacks that farmers have an advantage over is their ability to notice problems before they arise.
It is up to quality and educated farm laborers to find a system that produces yields an owner needs at a cost they can afford to sell to their customers. No single data-driven growing solution can remove a farmer from this set of skills.
I want to encourage every reader to go out to a farmer’s market or a grower’s meeting and ask them about their agriculture background experience and what makes them a successful grower.
For more information on indoor growing, I highly suggest watching a panelist from Agritecture discuss the top reasons of why indoor growing facilities fail. Click on Link.