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Growing Smarter with Indoor Agriculture

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About the project

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and Vertical Farming:
Unlocking the Future of
Sustainable Crop Productivity

Intensive agriculture is essential for global food security but often requires excessive use of pesticides, fertilizers, and water. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and Vertical Farming Systems (VFS) present a sustainable solution. CEA and VFS can be implemented in a variety of facilities, such as shipping containers, warehouses, greenhouses, abandoned urban buildings, research institutions, basements and underground spaces, retail spaces, schools and educational campuses, rooftops, and modular units, adapting to space, budget, and production needs. These closed-loop systems enable resource recycling and insulate crops from climate unpredictability. Through our innovative research at, we focus on aligning plant photobiology with indoor agriculture's controlled conditions to optimize plant growth and resilience to stress factors.

LED technology has been a game-changer for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), although energy efficiency remains a concern. At the University of California Riverside's Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP), we're advancing the science of light quality and intensity in greenhouses and VFS to support the growth and health of hydroponically grown citrus plants. Our experiments explore the influence of varying spectral light ratios and photoperiods on citrus plant growth, defenses, and disease expression.

As the need for disease-free citrus intensifies, our work addresses this urgency by probing into plant defense pathways and optimizing growth conditions. We're not just pushing the boundaries of productivity; we're also advancing a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.

Our research is poised to advance nursery growing techniques by translating cutting-edge science into practical solutions, bridging the gap from lab to farm. By unlocking the optimal light conditions and defense mechanisms for indoor-grown citrus plants, we're equipping growers with the tools to elevate productivity while championing sustainability.

Young farmers watching a tablet in a strawberry garden

Go to our webpage Resource to learn more on Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and Vertical Farming Systems (VFS)

Upcoming Event - May 22, 2024

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) for Plant Nursery Production

Note: The morning speaking session will be available both in person and via Zoom.

Download PDF Program HERE

Learn more about the invited speakers and their companies at:



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