Scientists at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center use various types of controlled environment facilities (e.g. indoor growth rooms, greenhouses, growth chambers) and systems to conduct research on crops such as lettuce, herbs, hemp, strawberry and other small berries.

Innovation Center scientists are also exploring a variety of related subjects such as, but not limited to, sensors, water quality, light quality, energy usage, disease management and beneficial endophytes in relation to controlled environment agriculture.

Additionally, scientists will research raising fish in controlled environments using aquaponics, or recirculating aquaculture systems that integrate plant and fish production. While traditionally viewed as separate fields, plant and fish production share many similar technologies, issues and needs.

Hemp Research

Our innovative research on hemp spans a vast array of studies in numerous areas. These studies are intended to help bring uniformity and growth to an industry in its infancy. They are also designed to serve as resources and insight for the development of guidelines and governance policies. 


  • Investigation of THC levels in various parts of the hemp plant in relation to time and plant development stage
  • Investigation of effects of time on CBD concentrations and formulated products
  • Recording and documenting of disease development in hemp across Southern Virginia
  • Study of effects of drying techniques on lab test results
  • Study of hemp product labeling compared to actual CBD testing results
  • Utilization of IALR’s endophyte library toolbox to increase hemp disease resistance and yield
  • Study of effects of climate and site variability on hemp quality and CBD production
Interested in Collaborating on Research? Contact Us.