Beginning in July of 2017, Agri-Arctic will be partnered with PolarEgg Inc. and Lethbridge College to conduct a demonstration of poultryponics technology with the integration of vertical hydroponics and poultry production in a dome shaped structure in Hay River, NWT. The integration of key technologies and methods will significantly reduce the need for costly inputs of nutrients and energy while maintaining high levels of production. Ultimately, this will address the demand for low-cost vegetables and chicken products in northern communities. It will be able to do this by using the outputs from one method of production as the inputs for the other method of production; Plant wastage will be fed to the chickens to reduce the need to ship feed in from the South and, with the use of a bioreactor, chicken manure will be used to reduce the need for nutrient solutions.
Dome shaped structures have been demonstrated to be highly energy efficient and heating expenditures will be further reduced with the significant amount of heat that is known to be generated by chickens. Monitoring, automation and simple data analytics will be used to manage production analysis and high levels of productivity among a wide variety of plant species will be maintained with relatively low energy expenditures and an ease of operation. When upscaled to a larger facility, ‘agro-ecological’ poultryponics domes will be capable of providing northern communities with both meat and vegetables at a reduced cost while reducing the environmental impact of production.