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Controlled Environment Agriculture

January 3, 2018
Controlled Environment Agriculture

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture. Plants are grown within a controlled environment so that horticultural practices can be optimized.

CEA techniques are not simpler than older systems for growing plants. Indeed, they demand sound knowledge of chemistry, horticulture, engineering, plant physiology, plant pathology, computers and entomology. A wide range of skills as well as a natural inclination to attend to details are necessary for a person to operate a successful CEA production in either a research or commercial setting.

The Cornell CEA program has worked with many different types of CEA facilities through the years. They developed a greenhouse hydroponic production method geared toward local food production. A prototype facility was built in Ithaca in the late 1990's and continues to function today producing more than 1000 heads of lettuce every day of the year. The CEA team continues to do research in the areas of supplemental lighting and commercial hydroponic vegetable production.

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