The Economic Perspective: “Vertical Farms”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at vertical farms.  Mike, many futurists say we are on the cusp of dramatic technological change that will upend the ways we perform many aspects of our lives.  The latest version of this I’ve heard is vertical farms.  What exactly are vertical farms, and how do they differ from traditional farms?


Mike: Summary Answer

  • Farm on multiple levels in an enclosed building
  • Advantage – can grow several plots on same acreage
  • Enclosures allow for climate control
  • Also have the advantage of being close to consuming population
  • But disadvantages – expensive city land
  • Take more energy to control the indoor climate
  • For now, likely a novelty, and not a replacement for existing farming
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.