Hydroponics is on the rise and offers several benefits for fresh produce businesses

Hydroponics Vertical Agriculture

Hydroponics is the practice of germinating seeds in bowls filled with water in a moisture and temperature controlled closed environment. This is an important issue in commercial farming today, and for good reason.

According to a report, the global hydroponic systems market has been using. rated $ 9.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to almost reach $ 18 billion by 2026. Hydroponics, as a fresh produce company, you might be wondering. Or, you may have already made the decision to introduce hydroponic growing technology in your facilities.

Hydroponic farming ways to empower your business:

Let’s examine some of the ways hydroponic farming can help your business get better results:

Focus on sustainability

One of the most important aspects of hydroponic farming is that it uses far less water – up to 95% less water compared to other cultivation methods. This alone means that such methods and techniques use far fewer resources compared to traditional soil farming.

Apart from that, in hydroponics, the climate can be controlled and regulated in an indoor hydroponics setup. For this reason, the products, which would otherwise have to be imported from distant locations, can be grown locally, which reduces both costs and the environmental impact of shipping and transport.

The lack of soil means far less attention to pests and weeds, which in most cases eliminates the need for insecticides, pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals.

Hydroponic techniques can now be vertical in format and plants can be built closer together due to smaller root systems. Hydroponic installations require a smaller land area compared to traditional farms. This results in less natural environment destruction and deforestation to create planting fields and better overall land use.

Efficiency

Simply put, plants grown and raised in hydroponic settings are much healthier and have higher yields over relatively shorter periods of time. Because plants grown using such techniques are not planted in soil and suspended in water, and therefore they do not develop extensive root systems and instead direct more energy to their vegetation and fruit growth.

Since hydroponic farming doesn’t require nearly as much geographic footprint as soil farming, the measures on yield per hectare are much higher. Finally, since most of the hydroponic systems are indoors, farming can continue year-round rather than being seasonal.

All of this together results in two to eight times higher yields than traditional cultivation methods. In addition, the plants grow faster – in many cases the time it takes to reach maturity is halved – and are less susceptible to disease and pests, which will reduce your losses from these factors.

quality

There are many reasons why the products grown on hydroponic farms may be of higher quality, but the most important one is to use alternative substrates (growing media). When plants are grown in a sterile medium such as rock wool or coconut, they have much better taste and texture because they don’t pick up the mild earth tones from the soil.

That being said, pesticides are far less necessary in hydroponic systems, and healthy organic products are far easier and cheaper to grow. After all, the year-round growth cycle of hydroponic farms and the ability to grow most plants virtually anywhere thanks to a controlled and regulated indoor environment means that locally grown plants arrive fresher and in greater variety in markets.

For a fresh future

These are just a few of the advantages of hydroponic farming over traditional farming methods – we haven’t addressed the higher level of control this approach offers that can lead to even better results – but the value of this emerging area is clear.

It is true, however, that not all plants can be grown in a hydroponic setting, and the approach usually requires electricity to grow lights as well. However, there are some very good reasons why your fresh produce business should be looking at hydroponics, or at least exploring ways to add hydroponically grown produce to your supply chains.

To meet the growing demand for food, we need to find alternatives to our current agricultural system. Hydroponic farming offers a solution to many of the disadvantages of the current agricultural problems facing our world.

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