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Alta-CEA – The Definition of CEA for Humans and Animals

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically based agriculture where plants grow within an indoor controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices.

Common Terms for CEA: Vertical Farming, Vertical Hydroponic Farming, Vertical Bed Farming

Modern CEA techniques and technologies are not just simpler versions, or slight modifications of the older hydroponic systems for growing plants. Indeed, modern CEA demands sound knowledge of chemistry, horticulture, engineering, plant physiology, plant pathology, computers and entomology. A wide range of skills as well as a natural inclination to attend to details are necessary for a person or business to operate a successful CEA production in either a research or commercial setting.

Alta-CEA Technology Benefits

Alta-CEA indoor growing CEA technology allows growers to achieve a high density of crops in a small footprint using vertical farming modules that are a growing system of hydroponics, LED lights, growing substrate, and controlled temperature, humidity, and air flow.  The Alta-CEA facility will include seeding and germination rooms, plant nursery, single or multiple crop grow rooms, packaging and cooler room.

 Benefits of Alta-CEA technology

  • Allows growers to create favorable growing conditions for their crops.
  • Allows growers to grow year-round.
  • Allows the grower to customize the crops for their local markets
  • Prevents damage from weather, pests and diseases.
  • Uses less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Allows growers to grow anywhere, regardless of local conditions.

CEA Importance for humans and animals

Today’s consumers increasingly demand a diet that includes fresh, high-quality vine crops, fruits and vegetables free of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. This also includes fresh green forage and fodder for ruminants, poultry and pigs.  Local production is also a major factor when fresh produce is purchased. In many regions of Canada, United States and the world, climate change and climate impact makes it impossible to meet this need year-round with only local fresh produce. Produce imported may be from other regions of the country and from other countries like USA, Mexico, Netherlands, Israel and southeast Asia – miles (or kilometres) from the local market.

When so called fresh produce is transported great distances there is a significant loss of quality and increased degradation. Furthermore, energy requirements for transport can be significant, and the impact of adverse climate conditions over the long haul can not be underestimated.  Local production in CEA facilities requires typical energy inputs for heating, venting, and possibly supplemental lighting. Thie local input cost is offset by the availability of fresh produce, readily available year around.  Studies have suggested the energy required to grow and transport fresh produce at least 1600 km  (1000 miles) is equivalent to the energy required for local production within CEA facilities in cold and cloudy climates.

Alta-CEA Benefits to Consumers & Animal Production

Well-managed, local CEA operations can provide fresh produce (as well as tree seedlings, flowers or pharmaceutical plants) and animal feed of high quality, free of pests and agriculture chemicals. Furthermore, CEA facilities can be closed in terms of discharging liquids either to surface or ground waters. CEA facilities can also be located in rural and urbanized areas, thus not requiring the conversion of open or agricultural land to greenhouses. CEA facilities can add to the local economy and employment in the community.

Alta-CEA Benefits to Agriculture

Certain sectors of the agricultural industry face increasingly difficult economic outlooks due to climate change, availability of forage and feed.  This is especially true of the cattle, dairy, poultry, and swine industry. Diversification utilizing CEA to produce green forage and fodder is one means to improve the economic stability of small farmers and CEA is a viable option to diversify.

Alta-CEA Benefits to the Wine Industry

Imagine grapes grown indoors using CEA technology.  Being able to choose new cultivars every season, without having to wait three to four years before harvesting the fruit. Imagine a CEA indoor vineyard that produces fresh local grapes for wine or table, year around.  Imagine how adaptive a CEA system could be with a small footprint that could offset impact of climate change, climate disaster, or wildfires. Think of an Alta-CEA winery.