The growing system of the California-based company is designed around the sun, an approach that uses less energy than other modern forms of farming
Photo as seen on Iron Ox’s Facebook page

California-based Iron Ox, a first-mover in the robotics and AI-enabled farming space, said that construction of a 535,000 square-foot indoor hydroponic farm in the city of Lockhart in Texas is under way. The farm sits on 25 acres of agricultural land, and once completed it will significantly increase Iron Ox’s growing capacity for fresh, clean and healthy herbs, leafy greens, berries, and vine crops.

“We have made it our mission to address food security by developing autonomous greenhouses that grow a variety of local and consistently delicious food for everyone”, said Brandon Alexander, Iron Ox co-founder and chief executive. “We’re excited to begin development of our newest indoor farm here in Lockhart — our first out-of-state facility. We look forward to further developing ties to the local community and to expanding our partnerships and distribution channels throughout the state of Texas.”

The new indoor facility will be fully dedicated to growing techniques harnessing the power of robotics and intelligence, enabling Iron Ox to grow sustainable, local produce to serve the Texas community.

Agtech company Iron Ox designed its growing system around the sun, an approach that uses less energy than other modern forms of farming.

The hydroponic growing system uses 90% less water over traditional farming while growing 30 times the amount of crops per acre of land; allowing Iron Ox to deliver on their mission to increase access to premium produce for everyone.

Iron Ox said Lockhart is an ideal location for greenhouse agriculture given its ample sunlight, central location near many cities, and its proximity to several universities.

Iron Ox founders Jon Binney, left, and Brandon Alexander.
Photo as seen on the company’s Facebook page

The indoor farm is expected to cost over $10 million to develop, with 275,000 square feet of the project anticipated to complete by Q4 and 260,000 square feet of the project anticipated to complete by Q1 next year.

Iron Ox expects to complete its first harvest and to begin delivering sustainable, local produce to select chefs and retailers throughout Texas by the completion of 2021.

It is anticipated that Lockhart’s hydroponic facility will grow thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Each crop type is cared for by Iron Ox’s growers and empowered by a robotic growing process ensuring year-round consistency, quality, and flavour.

Iron Ox currently operates two hydroponic farms located in Gilroy and San Carlos, California.

Arco Murray National Construction is the general contractor of the project and the architectural design firm is GMA Architects. In total, the project will create over 100 jobs.

Date published: 20 April 2021

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