Vegetable production under different color LEDs.

The horticultural physiology lab is part of a team of UGA faculty that was awarded a presidential seed grant. This is a new UGA program that funds trans-disciplinary projects aimed at solving the grand challenges facing our society. The horticultural physiology lab will participate in a project titled ‘Cost-effective indoor food production through the integration of informatics and renewable energy. In addition to Dr. van Iersel, the team includes faculty from engineering, computer science, and energy informatics. This team will tackle the intersecting grand challenges of food security and energy & environmental sustainability. The team has a synergistic vision and passion for advancing food security through progressive scientific study and technology development. Our goal is to develop Smart Cyber-Physical Systems for Controlled-Environment Agriculture, to optimize the food production quality, quantity and schedule in balance with operational cost and resource usage. The project will integrate greenhouse production, renewable energy, image analysis, modeling, hardware and software engineering, and economics to help make food production more sustainable and economical.

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