Crop production in open fields is increasingly limited by weather extremes and water shortages, in addition to pests and soil-borne diseases. In order to increase crop yield, quality, and productivity, controlled environment agriculture (CEA) can play an important role as an alternative and supplemental production system to conventional open field production. CEA is any agricultural technology that enables growers to manipulate the growing environment for improved yield and quality. CEA production systems include high tunnels, greenhouses, and indoor vertical farming, as well as hydroponics and aquaponics. Currently, ‘low-tech’ CEA techniques such as high tunnels (plastic greenhouses with minimum or no cooling and heating) are primarily utilized in developing countries where labor costs are relatively low, and China has by far the largest area covered by high tunnels or ‘Chinese-style’ solar greenhouses. The most control-intensive ‘high-tech’ CEA approach, namely indoor vertical farming, has gained tremendous attention in the past decade by researchers and entrepreneurs around the world, owing to advancements in lighting technology, including use of light emitting diodes (LEDs), and increasing urbanization with new market opportunities. This special issue covers some of the CEA topics such as LED lighting, substrate, and hydroponics.
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