CEA seed development program is vastly different from open field
April 24, 2023 By Greenhouse Canada
April 24, 2023 – The start of Sakata Seed’s Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) department a few years ago wasn’t intentional at the beginning. Now in its third year, the department came to be as a result of inquiries from CEA growers using Sakata products.
Breeding for indoor-grown vegetables is very different compared to the open field. A significant part of the CEA category is vertical farms. A press release notes that”these farms are extremely high-tech and driven by technology.”
Sakata’s primary locations to develop seeds for indoor-grown vegetables for the US and Canadian markets are in Burlington, Washington, and Salinas, California. This is where the research stations for cool crops and leafy crops are. In addition, Brazil also has a CEA lettuce research program. The indoor tomato program is centered in Japan.
At the moment, the demand for Sakata’s various CEA seeds is bigger than the supply. “In a controlled system that has the ability to grow 365 days/year, there are many more cycles compared to an open field. This means a high turnaround and high demand for seeds,” said Tracy Lee, who heads up the company’s CEA program.
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