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Vertical farming would be great for us on Earth because we are running out of space to grow food, but in a Galaxy with tons of planets for space, this would be unnecessary, correct?

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  • $\begingroup$ Any particular sub-culture absorbed by the galactic empire their farming methods might be a historical issue. They are 'how things are done' and might not want to drop the practice, even vertical farming. Which goes with the 'certain planets' view of @Diserasta below. This depends on so many things. Efficient food production is important although driving the efficiency past X% might not yield significant enough return for the effort. Off planet transport assumes (requires?) cheap gravity well to orbit solutions at g's that won't damage the goods. $\endgroup$ – dcy665 Sep 12 '17 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you think vertical farming would be "great"? Or indeed, would even work as well as ordinary farming? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Sep 12 '17 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ We are in no way or form running out of space to grow food; there is plenty of empty land on Earth. We are working our way to cultivate a larger and larger proportion of the available arable land, but I don't see how vertical farming could possibly increase the arable area available. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 12 '17 at 4:26
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Not necessarily.

Logistics

The answer to any question of "should we do X" can always be rephrased as "is the benefit of doing X greater than the cost(s) of doing X". So let's rephrase:

In a civilisation that has access to tonnes of planets, would vertical farming outweigh the cost of setting up the farms?

For certain planets, the answer would be yes. Temperate planets that are close to existing hub worlds for example would have low cost of transport for goods manufactured on them (food included), thus more extreme forms of manufacturing (such as vertical farms) could be utilised before it becomes inefficient to build more dense and/or complex systems.

It's not just a matter of the space required, but also the world's climate (and how easily it can be terraformed), as well as how it relates to the economy at large. If it is in a convenient location, or is highly abundant in a particular resource, then it may be worth it to employ advanced engineering techniques to maximise the utility of that planet.

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