80 Acres Farms has entered into a collaborative research agreement with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, with the aim of advancing vertical farming science.
Headquartered in Ohio, US, 80 Acres Farms is a vertical farming company that produces a range of fruits and vegetables.
The new partnership will see scientists with the Experiment Station – the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture – coordinate with 80 Acres Farms to pursue a variety of research topics.
“We are very excited about this new research partnership with 80 Acres Farms,” said Jean-François Meullenet, senior associate vice president for agriculture research and director of the Experiment Station.
“Protected farming is a strategic research direction for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, and 80 Acres Farms is a leader in this area.”
The initial round of proposed and current research includes a project analysing the chemical components of 80 Acres produce and an exploration into new protocols for vertical farming.
An evaluation of blackberry varieties that might perform well in the vertical farming environment is also underway.
“We hope to identify blackberry breeding selections that perform well in fully controlled indoor environments and vertical farms,” said Margaret Worthington, assistant professor of fruit breeding and genetics in the horticulture department for the Experiment Station and Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
“Fruit breeding is a long-term effort. We need to be forward thinking and consider how the potential varieties moving through our breeding pipeline are going to fit into new markets and productions systems that are just beginning to develop.”
In addition to collaborating on research, 80 Acres Farms also plans to create internship opportunities for Bumpers College students.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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