Vertical farming company Infarm has opened its third growing centre in Columbia, Howard County, Maryland.
The centre, which Infarm says is its largest to date, will add around 18,600 square metres to its US portfolio and produce up to 45 million crops annually.
The centre will create more than 50 new jobs in Howard County, Infarm added.
'Green Innovations Are Thriving'
Erez Galonska, CEO and co-founder of Infarm, said, “With the opening of this new growing centre, we are now entering a region where vertical farming is already widely adopted, and green innovations are thriving.
“Once fully operational, our growing centre will provide the Northeastern US with a new food production capability that minimises climate and supply chain risk by growing more than 75 types of plants locally, sustainably, and reliably 24/7, 365 days a year.”
Infarm has received pre-orders for more than 50% of the capacity of its new growing Centre and expects its first harvest in the spring of 2023.
The company plans to build the remaining capacity by early 2024.
The company described the opening of this facility as "a significant step" in its US expansion roadmap, where it plans to roll out its network of cloud-connected farming facilities to 46,500 square metres from coast to coast.
In the US, Infarm operates growing centres in Seattle and Austin, Texas.
'Data-Driven Vertical Farming Operation'
"We're thrilled that Infarm has chosen Howard County for this expansion of its innovative, data-driven vertical farming operation," said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
"Maryland's strategic location makes it an ideal site for the new growing centre and will allow the company to bring its nutritious produce to millions of new customers on the East Coast. We are proud to welcome Infarm to Maryland's business community and applaud its commitment to unique and sustainable farming methods,” Hogan added.
Infarm’s growing centres are equipped with modular, cloud-connected farming units — each occupying 40 square metres of ground space and 18 metres in height.
Each facility produces more than 500,000 plants annually, saving 95% of ground space, and 95% of water, Infarm noted.