Horizontal Farming

What is it and which systems does it involve?

Exploring the Innovations of Horizontal Farming

Horizontal Farming traditionally involves cultivating crops on flat land, usually in large outdoor fields or plots. This conventional method involves planting crops directly into the ground and employing machinery for tasks like planting, irrigation, and harvesting. 

In the context of Vertical Farming, Horizontal Farming takes on a different meaning. It often refers to the use of large indoor greenhouses with extensive bench sections designed to automate the movement of plants for cultivation. At Viemose DGS, we have extensive knowledge of the systems of Horizontal Farming.  

These sophisticated systems include various setups, including Moving Gutter Systems, Mobile Gutter Systems, and pond systems like Deep Water Culture. This article will explore each of these distinct cultivation systems. 

Horizontal Farming is mostly used in Hydroponics 

While any agricultural method not involving Vertical Farming is commonly termed horizontal, the usage of the term has mostly been associated with hydroponics. 

Hydroponics involves plant cultivation without soil, where roots grow either in inert materials, absorbing nutrients from circulating solutions, or are directed towards such solutions while inert materials are solely used for support. In contrast to Vertical Farming, which incorporates multiple plant levels within a given land area, Horizontal Farming typically operates on a single layer. 

 

Moving Gutter System in the context of Horizontal Farming 

In the context of Horizontal Farming, Moving Gutter Systems are a type of cultivation setup where gutters are utilized to transport plants horizontally within a greenhouse or growing facility. These gutters are designed to move along a track or rail system, enabling automated movement of the plants. 

Plants are typically grown in containers or trays placed within these gutters. As the gutters move, they carry the plants along, ensuring each plant receives optimal exposure to light, water, and nutrients. This movement mechanism helps to maximize space utilization and ensures uniform growth conditions for all plants within the system. 

Moving Gutter Systems are particularly useful in situations where space optimization and efficient cultivation practices are paramount, such as in Vertical Farming setups. They contribute to the overall efficiency and productivity of the farming operation by facilitating automation and providing consistent growing conditions for the plants. 

Viemose DGS
Our Moving Gutter System

Mobile Gutter Systems 

Mobile Gutter Systems employ gutters or channels for cultivating plants, but with a distinct mobility approach. In these systems, the entirety of the greenhouse or cultivation area, including the gutters, is designed to be movable.  

This flexibility enables growers to reposition the entire system, including both gutters and plants, within the growing space as necessary. Such adaptability allows for dynamic adjustments to the layout of the cultivation area, optimizing space utilization and promoting efficient cultivation practices.  

In essence, while both Moving Gutter Systems and Mobile Gutter Systems utilize gutters for plant cultivation, their primary difference lies in how they enable plant movement within the system. Moving gutter systems shift the gutters themselves along a predetermined path, whereas Mobile Gutter Systems facilitate the movement of the entire cultivation structure, including both gutters and plants, throughout the growing space. 

 

Deep Water Culture (DWC) 

In the context of Horizontal Farming, Deep Water Culture (DWC) represents a hydroponic cultivation method used within indoor growing environments. 

Also known as deep flow technique (DFT), floating raft technology (FRT), or raceway, this method utilizes a shallow rectangular tank, usually less than one foot in depth, which is filled with a nutrient-rich solution. Plants are placed on top of Styrofoam boards that float on the surface of the solution. This setup generates a nearly frictionless conveyor belt effect with the floating rafts. 

One of the key features of DWC is the unique interaction between the plants and the nutrient solution. As the plants grow, their roots extend into the solution, absorbing essential nutrients and water necessary for growth. The buoyancy of the Styrofoam boards ensures that the roots remain submerged in the solution while providing stability for the plants. 

Deep Water Culture
An Example of a DWC Setup

Moving Gutter Systems Emerge as the Premier Option in Horizontal Farming. 

While various cultivation systems exist within horizontal farming, Moving Gutter Systems stand out as a superior solution for maximizing efficiency and productivity. Unlike other methods, such as Mobile Gutter systems or Deep Water Culture, Moving Gutter Systems offer unparalleled benefits that make them ideal for modern indoor farming practices. 

The flexibility of Moving Gutter Systems allows growers to optimize space utilization and adapt to changing cultivation requirements with ease. By adjusting the layout of the cultivation area, growers can maximize the use of available space and cultivate a diverse range of crops efficiently. 

In essence, Moving Gutter Systems represent the pinnacle of innovation in Horizontal Farming, combining advanced technology with efficient cultivation practices to meet the demands of modern agriculture. As the horticultural industry continues to evolve, Moving Gutter Systems will undoubtedly remain at the forefront, driving progress and efficiency in food production. 

 

FAQs on Horizontal Farming 

How do Moving Gutter Systems compare in terms of resource efficiency, such as water and energy usage, compared to traditional horizontal farming methods?

Moving Gutter Systems in Horizontal Farming are designed to enhance resource efficiency compared to traditional methods. They typically utilize advanced technologies for precise water and nutrient delivery, minimizing waste and optimizing plant uptake.  

Additionally, by automating plant movement, energy usage can be carefully managed, contributing to overall efficiency. 

 

Can Moving Gutter Systems be adapted to different crop types and sizes, or are they more suited for specific types of plants?

Moving Gutter Systems offer versatility in accommodating various crop types and sizes. While some systems may be more suitable for certain plants, the design flexibility allows for customization to meet specific cultivation needs.  

Growers can adjust parameters such as gutter width, spacing, and movement speed to accommodate different crops, ensuring optimal growth conditions. 

 

Are there any limitations or challenges associated with implementing Moving Gutter Systems in horizontal farming, particularly concerning maintenance or initial setup costs?

Implementing Moving Gutter Systems may involve initial setup costs and maintenance considerations. While the upfront investment can be significant, the long-term benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity outweigh these costs.  

Maintenance requirements typically involve regular inspection of components such as gutters, motors, and irrigation systems to ensure smooth operation. Additionally, training personnel on system maintenance and troubleshooting can help mitigate any challenges associated with implementation. 

 

Reach out to us

At Viemose DGS we have more than 75 years of experience in navigating the indoor horticulture industry and we excel in establishing indoor farming systems.

Reach out to us to gain more information on how we can help you establish your Moving Gutter System.

​Our services

Benches

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We have developed two different types of benches that meet today’s demands for efficient plant production.

About Us

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“The future meets tradition”. We are creating a both cleaner, greener and more efficient industry.

MGS

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Our Moving Gutter System (MGS) is designed to reduce energy and water consumption, thereby reducing both your production costs and your environmental footprint.

Vertical Farming

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Your production is moved directly into the future. Enabling production in any place, while reducing both your production costs and your environmental footprint.

Transport systems

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We are specialized in development, production and installation of high technology transport systems and processing systems for horticultural producers.