Hydroponic
agriculture

Demand for hydroponic produce in Australia & World-wide is growing significantly!

Hydroponic Agriculture is the Future!

The word hydroponics has its derivation from combining two Greek words, hydro, meaning water, and ponos, meaning labour, thus effectively meaning ‘working water’. Hydroponic growing is essentially confined to enclosed or semi-enclosed environments for growing higher value crops, with out the need for soil, with some to total environmental control. Hence turn-around time is much reduced compared to open environment agricultural production.

Hydroponics strawberries
Hydroponics

Value of the Hydroponic Method

Hydroponic food production will expand to produce more crops that do not necessitate to be commercially grown in an open ‘broad-acre’ agricultural environment. All of the exact nutrients are supplied in hydroponic production and are readily and immediately available to the plant. Lower concentrations of nutrients can be used. The pH and temperature of the nutrient solution can be controlled to ensure optimal nutrient uptake. There are no losses of nutrients due to leaching.

Recreating the perfect growing environment for specific crops.

Integrated Pest Management

Advantages of Commercial Hydroponic Production:

  • Crops can be grown where no suitable soil exists or where the soil is contaminated with disease.
  • Labor for tilling, cultivating, fumigating, watering, and other traditional practices is largely eliminated.
  • Maximum yields are possible, making the system economically feasible in high-density and expensive land areas.
  • Conservation of water and nutrients is a feature of all systems. This can lead to a reduction in pollution of land and streams because valuable chemicals need not be lost.
  • Soil-borne plant diseases are more readily eradicated in closed systems, which can be totally flooded with an eradicant.
  • More complete control of the environment is generally a feature of the system (i.e., root environment, timely nutrient feeding, or irrigation), and in greenhouse-type operations, the light, temper­ature, humidity, and composition of the air can be manipulated.
  • Water carrying high soluble salts may be used if done with extreme care. If the soluble salt concentrations in the water sup­ply are over 500 ppm, an open system of hydroponics may be used if care is given to frequent leaching of the growing medium to reduce the salt accumulations.
  • The amateur horticulturist can adapt a hydroponic system to home and patio-type gardens, even in high-rise buildings. A hydroponic system can be clean, lightweight, and mechanized.

Disadvantages:

  • The original construction cost per hectare can be relatively high.
  • Trained personnel must direct the growing operation. Knowledge of how plants grow and of the principles of nutrition is important.
  • Introduced soil-borne diseases and nematodes may be spread quickly to all beds on the same nutrient tank of a closed system.
  • Most available plant varieties adapted to controlled growing conditions will require research and development.
  • The reaction of the plant to good or poor nutrition is unbeliev­ably fast. The grower must observe the plants every day.
hydroponics

... Mitigated by:

  • However hydroponics can produce faster growth in less space than traditional agriculture.
  • Hydroponics is a skill easily learned.
  • Hydroponics provides greater control of disease outbracks compared to traditional agriculture.
  • Research and development is continually expanding.
  • Technological innovation, proper strategies and contingencies can eliminate threats.
hydroponics

Farming in three dimensions instead of two by growing vertically. Vertical hydroponics is a significant strategy to help ensure food security. We need to move food production closer to the markets and help restore the ecological integrity of the land.

Plants don’t need sunlight they need spectrum, the don’t need soil they need nutrients. Indoor intensive factory hydroponic production with total environmental control uses zero pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Vertical hydroponic