Gates: Greenhouse Advanced Technology Expert System

Science behind the Method
Village Farms is a leader in agricultural research and foremost in North America for developing improvements in greenhouse production technology. Village Farms  applied research division continues to invest tremendous resources in the areas of Climate Engineering, Plant Biology & Pathology, Entomology, and Ecology. For almost twenty years, Village Farms has been at the forefront of technological greenhouse innovation by developing creative solutions in challenging climatic environments, not to mention, has achieved and documented the world record for highest yield. villagefarms marfa

Village Farms scientists are engaged in partnerships with numerous academic and applied research institutes throughout the world to test and implement new technology in their greenhouse production facilities.  Their state of the art greenhouse system is, in continued development, employing an integrated approach of theoretical and applied research methods. The end result is an efficient system from seed to fork built on proprietary intellectual property with capabilities like no other in the world.

Village Farms’ “crown glory” in applied research is their Greenhouse Advanced Technology Expert System (GATES). GATES system was created to perfect vegetable and fruit greenhouse production in high-sun and low-humidity areas. Adjacent to the facilities in Marfa, Texas this revolutionary greenhouse is a combination of unique and valuable intellectual property. The entire project is a multi-million dollar investment developed using new concepts in greenhouse design technology, climate control, and crop management. Utilizing new combinations of hardware, software, sensors, and control systems, GATES technology has defined industry standards in advanced food safety principles, production levels, and environmental stewardship values for greenhouse production.

Gates Village Farms


  • 365 day production of high quality fruit providing 100% fulfillment of customer requirements.
  • contained environment excludes all outside pests while inside pests are controlled with IPM (Integrated Pest Management), making GATES production 100% insecticide free.
  • production levels are 60% higher than average greenhouse production.
  • yield 20-30 times more product per acre than conventional field production
  • technology achieves lowest price per pound in the industry today.
  • uses 100% of water with no waste and recycles 100% of irrigation drainage to conserve water and fertilizer.
  • is designed to use waste heat to warm the greenhouses.
  • is designed to recover CO² from boiler and power plant exhaust to utilize plant for increasing crop growth.
  • uses 3 types of evaporation to cool and humidify the greenhouse.
  • water efficient growing system for tomatoes requires 1/7th of water usage, compared to field grown tomatoes, further translating into an 86% savings in water usage.
  • has the most sophisticated plant monitoring available, including cameras, plant temperatures, water uptake, and growth rates. These measurements are all minute by minute in real time.
  • uses the plant measurements and software models to fine tune the greenhouse conditions
  • technology can be transferred to high density population centers, therefore, reducing ‘food miles’ and thus, the overall carbon footprint.
  • can harvest solar power from excess sun radiation and convert to electricity.
  • Published by

    Erik van Berkum

    Erik is a Dutchman currently living in Osaka Japan.

    5 thoughts on “Gates: Greenhouse Advanced Technology Expert System”

    1. . I have 10 acres of land in uttar pradesh india and was thinking of getting into farm business. But i lack knowledge regarding new technologies in farming. I have capital to invest but want proper guidence as i want to devote my full time in farming. Please mail me ur expertise and till where can you help me with my project. I want experts to implement, manage and market my farm business.
      Thank you
      Ateev sharma

    2. If so, then why village farms is in bankruptcy?

      Might be a yield 100kg/sqm/year but CO2 footprint is going to be 560kg/sqm/year ; or 5.6kg CO2/kg tomatoes ;seems unsustainable.
      In low or middle tech greenhouses we might have 20-25 kg/sqm/year but the CO2 footprint will be 5 kg CO2/sqm/year.
      I think that the future is for these greenhouses.

    3. Hi Eric, firstly a nice article. A old blog, still wanted to check if someone is reading in this thread to clarify some doubts. There is a comparison about the yield – 104 Kg/sqm in Hi-Tech GH of Village Farms and “Horticulture for thought | Maripositas” has talked about a variety used in Canada which yields 75.000 – 86.000 kg tomatoes per hectare and can go upto 124.000 to 148.000 kg tomatoes per hectare. The same variety if used in GHs is said that can produce 500-1.000 kilos per hectare in a Middle to Hi-Tech GH. How is 104 Kg/Sqm comparable to 500-100 Kgs per hectare? Am I am missing something here.
      Also are these Hi-Tech technologies like GATES penetrated in Asian markets, if yes, where?

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