Inside Shenandoah: Transforming Organic Herb Production

Shenandoah Growers, the largest retail grower of organic herbs in the United States, has deployed thousands of Fluence LED systems in its state-of-the-art vertical farm and greenhouse facilities. With the new Fluence lighting systems, Shenandoah Growers boosted crop yield and quality while reducing land, water and fertilizer resources.

“We are seeing a more flavorful, aromatic and robust crop with thicker leaves and increased stem structure under the new lighting systems from Fluence,” said Bob Hoffman, Chief Science Officer at Shenandoah Growers. “Fluence has helped us achieve our goal of increasing crop production while being both environmentally and economically sustainable.”

With a growing need for organic culinary herb production, the company began planning and construction for a new state-of-the-art greenhouse, vertical farm and regional distribution model in 2014. These efforts have culminated into:

A 100 percent LED-powered greenhouse
Featuring more than 750 Fluence VYPRx PLUS LED systems, the newest Shenandoah Growers greenhouse delivers double the light intensity and an improved spectral composition compared to its other high pressure sodium (HPS) greenhouses. This enables a 25 percent increase in crop production, and a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency compared with the former HPS lighting systems.

State-of-the-art vertical farms
Nearly 4,000 Fluence RAZR LED systems are growing an equivalent of 1.5 acres of organic herbs in a fraction of the space. The new vertical farm reduced land use by 75 percent, water use by 60 percent and fertilizer use by 60 percent compared to Shenandoah Growers’ own advanced greenhouse model. By using Fluence LED technology and patented processes early in the growing stage, Shenandoah Growers standardizes and maintains consistent propagation prior to transplanting in their greenhouse. This innovative approach yields healthy plants, peak-season flexibility, and consistent year-round distribution.

“We continue to look at new solutions to sustainably meet the demand for our herbs,” said Timothy Heydon, President and CEO, Shenandoah Growers. “The team and LED solutions at Fluence made it possible for us to produce better crops in higher yields while at the same time using fewer resources.”

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