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Stories of Uncontained Innovation: Heron Farms

Heron Farms is the world's first saltwater vertical farm, using our world's most abundant resource, seawater. 

AmplifiedAg is proud to power Heron Farms operations. From controlling the unique environmental elements and growth process of salt-tolerant plants and seed-to-sale tracking Heron Farms’ signature Sea Beans product, to supporting the company’s R&D efforts in freshwater recapture and indoor-to-outdoor scalability. 

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“We’ve been farming with freshwater, we humans, for 10,000 years, and the 2% of the water on the planet that’s fresh that we’ve been using to do that is shrinking,” says Heron Farms founder, Sam Norton. 

“Learning how to tap into that 98% is going to be a big challenge for the next few centuries. And we’re not going to solve it, but we’re going to kind of try to help and AmplifiedAg loves being involved in that same mission to tap into such an abundant growing resource. 

Heron Farms utilizes AmplifiedAg’s fertigation system, suite of environmental sensors and IoT Control Board, and AmpEDGE farm management software application. “These are things that we can’t operate a farm without and we can’t expect our customers to get a product which can’t be traced all the way back to the seed.

AmplifiedAg allows us to trace, to manipulate the environment, and to thankfully get alerts when things go wrong.” 

Heron Farms utilizes AmplifiedAg farm management software modules to control their vertical farm growing environment as well as manage their business operations. 

“To do {farming} indoors, we need to know a couple of things…the salinity of the water, the amount of nutrients in the water, the level of pH in the water, the dissolved oxygen in the water, the temperature of the water. And then we also need to juxtapose that with the amount of light and the CO2 in the air. 

It’s much easier to manage a farm when those parameters are recorded every few seconds and the data is searchable and can be graphically represented and can be analyzed for replicability. We’ve gone from three or four harvests a year to seven and a half by managing those inputs to speed up plant growth.”

“pH, temperature, EC (electroconductivity) water parameters, air parameters, inventory, how many plants are ready to harvest, how many are in cold storage and ready to go to a customer. 

AmplifiedAg software and hardware is going to be integrated into every farm that we make, because it has done so much for this farm. It has saved this farm from failure. HVAC failure, cold storage failure, nutrient imbalance, to a CO2 level in the grow room that could knock a human out.”

Learn more about Heron Farms and AmplifiedAg’s partnership

View the Heron Farm Case Study