The term ‘automation’ in the vertical farming sector is often greatly exaggerated. Press releases regularly refer to ‘full,’ ‘total,’ or ‘complete’ automation, or similar. When digging beneath the surface, this usually refers to basic operational elements (primarily lights going on or off, nutrient delivery, and modulation of environmental conditions against a baseline). This is not the case for all vertical farming companies, but it is certainly widely prevalent. But what does automation really mean in the context of a vertical farm, and how critical is it?