AppHarvest announces summer crop refresh

AppHarvest announces summer crop refresh

The Kentucky-based grower has detailed its plans for the rest of the year at various facilities.

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AppHarvest, in a press release, announced it completed the “Summer Refresh” and replanting of its flagship high-tech indoor farm in Morehead, Kentucky, in preparation for the second season of harvesting.

The more than 700,000 tomato plants in the 2.8 million sq. ft. facility are expected to reach a mature height of about 40 feet and begin producing within a couple of months after planting. Thus, the company continues to expect tomato net sales to be modest in the third quarter, approximately $300,000 to $400,000, with ramp-up in the fourth quarter as the planted acreage becomes fully productive.

“With the late summer refresh and replanting, the AppHarvest Morehead Farm is on track to start growing tomatoes for Season Two with lessons learned from our first season integrated into our game plan for the upcoming harvest,” said AppHarvest Founder and CEO Jonathan Webb. “We remain on track with our plan to offer new crop types in addition to tomatoes by the end of next year, and I’m pleased with the progress across our company as we continue to focus on delivering a sustainable and climate-resilient food system that can provide fresh produce at scale from right here in Appalachia.”

AppHarvest currently is operating one 60-acre high-tech indoor farm in Morehead which is estimated to be able to produce about 40 million pounds of tomatoes per year, serving some of the top national grocery store chains and food service outlets. The company has more farms under construction in Eastern Kentucky that are expected to produce vine crops, berries and leafy greens. The Berea, Kentucky 15-acre leafy green facility and Richmond, Kentucky 60-acre tomato facility are each approximately 50 percent complete and are expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

The release also notes that $25 million cash-backed credit facility with JP Morgan based on its third high-tech, 30-acre indoor farm under construction that plans to grow berries in Somerset, Kentucky., which broke ground in June 2021. Proceeds from the 364-day credit facility, which is priced at LIBOR plus 225 basis points, will be applied toward capital expenditures and improvements, including construction of the company’s fourth high-tech indoor farm.