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Production Estimates: ZipGrow

These are the production estimates that Bright Agrotech typically uses predictively in our production schedule.
These values are similar to what we get during the spring and fall production seasons. During the summer
season the values are significantly improved with the longer day length. During the shortest days of the winter,
the values are lower than those represented here. These values are given because they represent the averages or
common values achieved over the production year. These are values for a greenhouse utilizing no artificial light
source and without CO2 enrichment.
All values are for the productivity of a single 5 ZipGrow
tower grown in a tower mass. Different techniques
(Conveyor and Batch production) impact productivity and are noted. For questions regarding these cultural
techniques, see Storey (2012).
Note: These values are dependent on a variety of factors, chief of which is grower experience and expertise.
Crop selection, nutrition, cultural techniques and environmental factors can all have a profound effect on the
productivity of all greenhouse crops.
Production Data: Greens
Most greens are cultured on a 5 week turn at 10.4 turns per year. However, an additional week increases
productivity dramatically for some crops. Crop Spacing for typical conveyor cropping is between 2.25 and 2.5
square feet per tower. To determine productivity on a square foot basis, simply divide the production
value by 2.5 for the following two tables. These values are for complete harvests although gradual harvests are
possible for many of these crops. Transplant size is typically 2-3 inches in size with one to two sets of true
Complete Harvest Production in Conveyor Cropping Production in Conveyor Cropping
Crop 5 Week Turn 6 Week Turn
Selected Lettuce 4-6 lbs 6-8 lbs
Bok Choi 6-7 lbs lbs 8-9 lbs
Kale (Winterbor) 3 lbs 4 lbs
Tatsoi 3 lbs 4 lbs
Chard 4 lbs 5.5 lbs
Mustard Greens 3 lbs 4 lbs
Production Data: Herbs
Herbs cultured in towers have longer, gradual harvest schedules. Basil is typically cut three times before towers
are replanted. Each cutting (at three week intervals) yields slightly more than the last. Slow growing crops like
oregano, rosemary and sage often are cultured for 9-12 months with consistently increasing harvests. When
weights begin to taper off the tower is torn out and replanted.
Herbs Week 5 Week 8 Week 11 Week 14 Week 17 Week 20 Week 23 Week 26
Sweet Basil (3
3-4 lbs 4-5 lbs 5-6 lbs New Cycle - - - -
1 lb 2.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 2.5 lbs
Chives 0 0 2 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs
Rosemary 0 0 0 0.5 lb 1 lb 1 lb 1 lb 2 lb
Sage 0 0 0 0.5 lb 1 lb 1 lb 2 lb 2 lb
Fennel 0 5-7 lbs New Cycle - - - - -
Parsley 3-4 lbs 3-4 lbs New Cycle - - - - -
Cilantro 3-4 lbs 2-3 lbs New Cycle - - - - -
Batch Harvesting is possible, with peer reviewed numbers from Storey (2012) below. These values are for a
tower mass containing a single generation or age group of crop plants. Harvests are complete. Transplant size in
this study was slightly smaller than the plugs utilized in the commercial production schedules above.
Crop 5 week Turn lb/sq. ft.*turn
Genovese Basil 3.3 lb 1.9
Lemon Basil 5.3 lb 3.0
Sweet Basil 2.2 lb 1.3
Dwarf Basil 2.2 lb 1.3
Bok Choy 7.3 lb 4.2
Mustard Greens 3.1 lb 1.8
Strawberry Production: Strawberry production has been trialed using ZipGrow
Towers (Storey 2012) and a
production value of 4.9 kg/m
*month was achieved using Seascape. This is between 2.5 and 7 times the
standard industry production values.
Production Data: Genovese Basil
For comparison here are two lists of values from the literature from Storey (2012):
Production values for Genovese basil from the literature. The production values using ZipGrow Towers is
Production (kg
) Production Period
For Comparison:
kg m
Aquaponic 9.4 5 weeks post-transplant 1.88 Storey, 2012
Raft Aquaponic 13.0 - 42.0 52 weeks post-transplant 0.25 - 0.81 Savidov et al., 2007
Raft Aquaponic 23.4 - 25.0 52 weeks post-transplant 0.45 - 0.48 Rakocy et al. 2004
Hydroponic Media
Bed 6.26 5.7 weeks post-transplant 1.1
Bradley and
Marulanda, 2001
Raft Hydroponic
2.6 - 3.6
(25-50 plants ft
6.5 weeks from seed
(1.5 weeks post 5 week
establishment period)
0.4 - 0.55
(1.7-2.4) Micheli et al., 2003
Hydroponic 16.6 48 weeks post-transplant 0.35
Stapleton and
Hochmuth, 2001
Vertigro Field
Hydroponic 6.2 - 7.1 15 weeks post-transplant 0.41 - 0.47
Hochmuth and Leon,
Field Production 7.8 52 weeks post-transplant 0.15 Rakocy et al., 2004
Intensive Field
Production 2.5 7 weeks post-transplant 0.36
Sifola and Barbieri,
[To convert from Kg m
to lb ft
, simply multiply by (2.2/10.76), or (0.20446)]
Production Data: Strawberries
Production values for various strawberry varieties using different production methods. Table includes
production values from ZipGrow
tower production (highlighted).
Production per
Month: kg m
Chandler' NFT 10.8
0.6-0.9 kg/plant;
6.5-9.7 kg/sq. m 6 mo.s 1.1-1.6
Takeda and
Hokanson, 2002
Tower 32
0.226-0.368 kg/
plant; 4.5-7.8 kg/
sq. m. 4.5 mo.s 1-1.7 Durner, 1999
Peat Bag 8.5 8 kg/sq. m. 12 mo.s 0.7
Leiten and
Baets, 1991
Stacked Pot
Tower 28
~195g/plant; 5.4
kg/sq. m 5 mo.s 1.1
Takeda et al.,
1999a; Takeda
et al., 1997
Stacked Pot
Tower 28
~167g/plant; 4.7
kg/sq. m 5 mo.s 0.9
Takeda et al.,
1999a; Takeda
et al., 1997
Oso Grand'
Stacked Pot
Tower 28
~138g/plant; 3.9
kg/sq. m 5 mo.s 0.8
Takeda et al.,
NFT ~14
370 g/plant; 5.2
kg/sq. m 5 mo.s 1
Takeda et al.,
NFT ~14
261 g/plant; 3.7
kg/sq. m 5 mo.s 0.7
Takeda et al.,
Oso Grand'
NFT ~14
253 g/plant; 3.5
kg/sq. m 5 mo.s 0.7
Takeda et al.,
Tower 40
500g/plant; 20 kg/
sq. m 12 mo.s 1.7 Resh, 2004

Aquaponic 35.3 6.9 kg/sq. m 1.4 mo.s 4.9
Storey, 2012

Aquaponic 35.3 6.0 kg/sq. m 1.4 mo.s 4.3
Group B
Storey, 2012
If you have questions concerning these numbers or projections, please email us at: info@brightagrotech.com
Cited Studies:
Bradley, P. and C. Marulanda. 2001. Simplified hydroponics to reduce global hunger. Acta Horticulturae.
Durner, E. 1999. Winter greenhouse strawberry production using conditioned plug plants. HortScience 34(4):
Hochmuth, R. and L. Leon. 1999. Comparison of six soilless media in a vertical production system
(VertiGro) for basil. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Publication
Lieten, F. and W. Baets. 1991. Greenhouse strawberry culture in peat bags. Advances in Strawberry Production
Micheli, A., A. Moncada, F. Vetrano, and F. DAnna. 2003. First results on yield and quality response of basil
(Ocimum basilicum L.) grown in a floating system. Proc. IS on Greenhouse Salinity, Acta Horticulturae
(ISHS) 609:377-381.
Rakocy, J., R. Schultz, D. Bailey, and E. Thoman. 2004. Aquaponic production of tilapia and basil: comparing a
batch and staggered cropping system. Proceedings of the South Pacific Soilless Culture Conference ,
Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 648: 69-69.
Resh, H. 2004. Hydroponic crop production, sixth edition. Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL
Savidov, N., E. Hutchings and J. Rakocy. 2007. Fish and plant production in a recirculating aquaponic
system: a new approach to sustainable agriculture in Canada. Proceedings of the International
Conference and Exhibition on Soilless Culture, Acta Horticulturae (ISHS)742:209-222.
Sifola, M., and G. Barbieri. 2006. Growth, yield and essential oil content of three cultivars of basil grown under
different levels of nitrogen in the field. Scientia Horticulturae 108(4):408-413.
Stapleton, S. and R. Hochmuth. 2001. Greenhouse production of several fresh-cut herbs in vertical hydroponic
systems in north central Florida. Proc. Fla. Hort. Soc. 114:332-334.
Storey, N. 2012. Vertical aquaponic crop production towers and associated produce sales and distribution
models: design, development and analysis. (Doctoral Dissertation) University of Wyoming. University
of Wyoming ProQuest/UMI.
Takeda, F., P. Adler, and D. Glenn. 1997. Strawberry production linked to aquaculture wastewater treatment.
ISHS 439(2):673-677.
Takeda, F. 1999a. Strawberry production in soilless culture systems. Proceedings of the international
Symposium on Growing Media and Hydroponics, Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 481:289-295.
Takeda, F. and S. Hokanson. 2002. Effects of transplant conditioning on Chandler strawberry performance in
a winter greenhouse production system. P. 132-135. In: S. Hokanson and A. Jamieson (eds.) Strawberry
Research in 2001. ASHS Press, Alexandria, Virginia.