Ag Science Cafe

OptimIA Annual Stakeholder Meeting

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
virtual meeting | available to everyone at no cost

Registration - Click Here

Tentative Agenda

Time (Eastern)

1:00 pm

Welcome and Introduction

Erik Runkle (Michigan State University)

1:10 pm

Promotion of lettuce growth under an increasing daily light integral depends on the light intensity and photoperiod

Erik Runkle and Nathan Kelly (Michigan State University)


We investigated the interaction of photosynthetic photon flux density and photoperiod on growth and quality attributes of lettuce under daily light integrals ranging from 6.9 to 15.6 mol m-2 d-1. We will share results of this study, as well as future research plans in the Controlled Environment Lighting Lab.

1:30 pm

Influence of light intensity and CO2 concentration on dill, parsley, and sage growth and development at harvest

Kellie Walters and Roberto Lopez (Michigan State University)


Ph.D. student Kellie Walters will discuss how light intensity and CO2 concentration influence dill, parsley, and sage seedling growth, morphology, and production time and subsequent greenhouse yield. Dr. Lopez will discuss plans for upcoming indoor temperature, CO2, and lighting research.

1:50 pm

Major energy savings during production of baby greens

Cary Mitchell and Fatemeh Sheibani (Purdue University)

Dr. Mitchell will discuss their project goals and system setup used to decrease energy consumption in the indoor production of baby greens. Ph.D. student Fatemeh Sheibani will share preliminary results and future plans.

2:10 pm

Questions and answers

2:30 pm


2:40 pm

Managing nutrient disorders of hydroponic leafy greens

Chieri Kubota (The Ohio State University)


Leafy greens grown hydroponically in indoor controlled environments exhibit various nutrient disorders when root-zone or aerial environmental conditions are not adequate to maintain specific nutrient uptake to meet the demand to support plant growth. Two types of nutrient disorders that we work on at the Ohio State University are 1) Ca deficiency caused by localized imbalance between Ca uptake and demand, and 2) various macro- and micro-nutrient deficiencies caused by low nutrient solution pH. Dr. Kubota will summarize her team's recent research outcomes of growing basil, lettuce, and spinach in nutrient solution with low pH (4.0-4.5) without causing nutrient disorders, while potentially preventing water-borne oospore disease outbreak.

3:00 pm

Improving air distribution and humidity management in vertical farming systems

Murat Kacira (University of Arizona) and Nadia Sabeh (Dr. Greenhouse Inc.)

This presentation will discuss challenges of air distribution, uniformity, and humidity management within the context of co-optimizing environmental variables in vertical farming systems. Research activity conducted and planned to address these challenges within the scope of the SCRI project will be discussed.

3:20 pm

Questions and answers

3:35 pm

Critical elements of CEA economics

Chris Peterson, Simone Valle de Souza, Joseph Seong (Michigan State University)

The OptimIA team of economists will present economic inferences from a sample economic model of a Japanese lettuce indoor farm. Significant factors affecting production and revenues will be discussed in the context of U.S. current production systems and market characteristics.

4:10 pm

Questions and answers