Plant Factory
Update:Sep.6th 2018

 Agroindustrialization Project
 Sumitomo Electric Industrial, Ltd
Minimizing Agricultural Vulnerability Through Industrialization

 Focus on the standardization of cultivation and
environmental control technology

 The aim of this project is to minimize the vulnerabilities specific to agriculture in greenhouses. We focus on controlling water, which significantly affects quality and yield, and standardization of environmental controls (analysis from the data) to stabilize crop production and develop a form of industrial agriculture.
 Our unique crop-production system enabling standardized watering control is being evaluated, and standard specifications and operation procedures for greenhouses are being established based on a real-time monitoring of plant water absorption.
 The production system involves 7 trusses (2crops/year) tomato cultivation, with the emphasis on workability, stability, and productivity. Using a Japanese cultivar, we are particular about the taste and aim to harvest more than 250 tons of tomatoes with high sugar content per hectare.
 Multilayer High-Density Tomato Cultivation
 (Spray Hydroponic System) Consortium
 Iwatani Agri Green Co., Ltd.

 Spray Hydroponic System
 Iwatani Agri Green Co., Ltd. is an innovator in the development of equipment and methods for plant factories. A consortium led by Iwatani Agri Green working in the Plant Factory of Chiba University is experimenting with better ways to cultivate tomatoes in a system incorporating numerous innovative features. Some of our most successful advances are outlined below.
 「Selecting Varieties of Tomatoes」Consortium  JA Zen-Noh
(National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Association)
Selecting Varieties of Tomatoes Grown with the Original Simple Hydroponic Cultivation System ‘うぃず One®’ (Reading: with one)

‘うぃずOne®’ Cultivation System
 JA Zen-Noh Consortium cultivates around 30 varieties of tomatoes in the greenhouse. The aim of our consortium is to search for effective cultivation methods suitable for each variety and to understand commodity value of each variety based on customer demands. We aim to uncover hidden value of varieties which meet consumer needs.
  At the exhibit space, we invite growers and related companies/institutions to introduce multiple varieties of tomatoes grown in our greenhouse.
  Regarding the highly evaluated variety, we cultivate on a trial basis targeting mass retail stores for test marketing, and ensure to spread the variety widely among consumers and farmers extensively.
  JA Zen-Noh applies simple hydroponic cultivation system ‘うぃずOne®’. ‘うぃずOne®’ is an irrigation system which applies liquid fertilizer mixture system (mini system) in conjunction with 18 L styrene foam box filled with soil.
  ‘うぃずOne® is economical, simple and easy to manage cultivation. This system has been developed by JA Zen-Noh.
Reduced Agricultural Chemicals · High-density Cultivation of High Quality Tomato with Low Plant Height  
 Mitsubishi Chemical Agri Dream Co., Ltd.

New Tomato Arena
 Mitsubishi Chemical Agri Dream Co., Ltd. is a comprehensive manufacturer of covering materials for agriculture, watering devices, and cultivation systems. We provide a combined package based on: the Nae (Nursery) Terrace®, a closed system with artificial lighting; hydroponics for short-duration multi-cropping of leafy vegetables and tomatoes in the Tomato Arena; and a solar plant factory constructed with covering/coating that reduces the need for agrochemical use.
 The Nae Terrace®, utilized by multiple consortia, was developed jointly by Chiba University and Mitsubishi Chemical Agri Dream. It produces high-quality, homogeneous seedlings to allow precisely planned cultivation in plant factories. The combined use of this nursery terrace with Tomato Arena, high-density with low plant height hydroponic cultivation system, makes systematic year-round tomato production possible with no other sophisticated technology. We empirically investigate production of high sugar content tomato with a high yield by “new Tomato Arena” system which induces stress response by incorporating a root-limiting pot. The walls of the plant factory are covered with Mitsubishi Chemical Agri Dream’s patented DiaStar UV Cut, forming a barricade to insects and pathogens and significantly reducing the need for chemical inputs.
 Three-Layer High-Density
 Tomato Cultivation with D-Trays
 Daisen Co., Ltd.
Low-cost, Labor-Saving, High-yield, Profitable Production System with D-trays
for Entrepreneurial Farms

 Low-shelf High-density Cultivation by D-Tray
  A consortium led by Daisen Co., Ltd. is demonstrating three-layer high-density tomato cultivation using D-trays at the Chiba University Plant Factory facilities. Ten D-shaped 250-ml pots are set in a tray (2 x 5 cells) containing basic culture medium. In D-tray cultivation, plants are subjected to minimal stress through the use of environmental controls and smallquantity but frequent irrigation. This noteworthy new growth method produces both higher yields and higher quality.
  Using D-trays from the seedling stage saves labor, minimizes removal activities after harvesting, and is suitable for low-height, high-density cultivation requiring frequent renewal of seedlings. Since raising seedlings, planting, harvesting, and removal activities can be spread evenly throughout the year, cultivation can be managed easily with a limited number of workers.
  Aiming at establishing a low-cost cultivation system for entrepreneurial farms, verification tests are underway, focusing on increased productivity with the use of D-trays, cultivation management with only a few workers, and reduction of start-up costs to growers.
 Plant Factory
 with Artificial Lighting
Low cost and stable production of vegetables in Multi layer cultivation

 Multi-layer Cultivation
 Stable production of vegetables is extremely difficult due to abnormal weather in recent years, and stable supply of consistent quantity and quality is always an important issue. We utilize multi-layer artificial light plant factory to conduct cultivation tests aiming at low cost and stable production of leafy vegetables.
 To ensure safety, we use water shower and air shower to enter the cultivation room, and wear dedicated clean work wear. By thoroughly implementing such hygiene control, we are preventing the occurrence of pests and testing the cultivation of highly safe vegetables at low cost.
Consortium NO.7

In Preparation
 Polystyrene Foam Material for Airtight Thermal  Insulation:Hokko-Type Plant Factory
 Japan Dome House Co., Ltd.
Polystyrene foam material and cultivation system

 Hokko-Type Plant Factory
 Polystyrene foam-clad dome structures offer unparalleled thermal insulation and airtightness, making them ideal for extremely hot/cold regions. They are resistant to natural disasters such as earthquakes and strong winds because of inherent structural strength and it can supply foods even in crises. We have developed a unique polystyrene foamclad dome and this cultivation system, combining factory equipment, cultivation system and so on.
 We have also developed our own production system to significantly reduce the uses of water and fertilizer. This system can demonstrate its superiority particularly in regions where outdoor cultivation is difficult.
 Semi-dry Fog® Environmental Control  H. Ikeuchi & Co., Ltd.
Improvement of Photosynthetic Efficiency and Productivity by Improvement of In-Plant Environment Using Semi-dry Fog® Environmental Controll

Semi-dry Fog® Cultivation/ Environmental Control
  H. Ikeuchi & Co., Ltd. is working on basic examination of developing an environmentalcontrol technology that improves crop photosynthesis efficiency by controlling vapor-pressure deficit and temperature effectively by using a novel “semi-dry fog®”. This method improves crop productivity andquality.
  Semi-dry fog® has a fine particle size of 10 to 30 μm, so it quickly completely evapo- improvement of Photosynthetic Efficiency and Productivity by Improvement of in-Plant Environment Using Semi-dry Fog® Environmental Control rates, making it possible to efficiently cool and humidify the inside of the facility without wetting the crop. Furthermore, it is expected to maximize the efficiency of CO2 application by using the dehumidification function of the agricultural heat pump and managing VPD by spraying while suppressing ventilation in the greenhouse.
  In addition, we are researching and developing application methods of utilization of semi-dry fog® in agriculture, such as an automatic control system that distributes chemicals from the same system as cooling and humidification, and a new hydroponic cultivation method that sprays nutrient solutions in the rhizosphere.

 Plant Factory for
 Urban Farming Consortium
Making Plant Factories Ubiquitous Everywhere

  The Plant Factory for Urban Farming Consortium hopes to see small plant factories in operation everywhere: homes; transport stations; schools; stores; hospitals; and more.
  This consortium focuses on social recognition and adoption of plant factories, while other consortia attempt to achieve direct cost reductions and productivity improvement.
  We are aiming to raise awareness of plant factories indirectly by attracting attention as a display in eating and drinking establishments, healing space, providing food education that can be experienced from cultivation to harvest and so on.
 Across-Thematic-Areas Consortium  Japan Plant Factory Association
Achieving high yields/High Quality while Conserving Resources/Protecting the Environment

 The Across-Thematic-Areas Consortium was established to determine the best growing environment for plants from the twin viewpoints of resource saving and environmental protection. The main factors involved are measurement and analysis of data relating to resources used, environmental controls, plant growth, and crop yield. Specifically, we are aiming to build a plant factory where the utilization rate of resources such as light, water, CO2, fertilizer, seedlings, labor, etc. is maximized and high-quality, high-yield production is achieved simultaneously.
  The consortium started a demonstration experiment on integrated environmental control systems as part of the Environmental Revolution of Green and Water project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan in 2012. Advanced development of an integrated environmental control system that achieves optimum control based on future prediction of plant environment in the plant factory is based on about 200 million environmental data points gathered at the plant factory in Chiba University. In FY2014 and FY2015, we also worked on visualization of net photosynthetic rate by “Robot Technology Development Verification Project in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Industry” and implemented it newly in the integrated environmental control system. Since FY2017 we have been developing a framework aiming to sell our Integrated Environmental Control System and developing a sales model. Furthermore, in addition to “net photosynthetic rate control function”, the two types of intelligent controllers (CO2 and fine fog cooling / VPD control system) we developed are incorporated in the core system of the integrated environmental control system. We also intend to develop and commercialize intelligent controllers that can control nutrient solutions and heat pumps.

Head Office
Center for Environment, Health & Field Sciences of Chiba Universite
6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882 JAPAN
Tel +81-47137-8318 FAX +81-47137-8312