Three Things Hydroponic Growers Should Be Doing
Hydroponic production continues to grow across North America, with startups popping up and established growers expanding to their existing operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or simply adding on to your hydroponic production, there are a few considerations that can make a significant impact on the quality and efficiency.
In the March issue of GPN magazine, Tami Van Gaal, CEA division leader for Griffin, shares three things every hydroponics grower should be doing.
First on her list is: Test the water. Water quality is a primary concern for all growers, but it is even more critical in hydroponics because the inert media provides no buffering.
Second is: Protect against plant damage. Nothing stings more than preventable physical crop damage that reduces yield. In both high-wire and medicinal crops, the weight of the product can cause stems to bend and break. Minimizing damage is critical.
Third is: Move the air. All hydroponic production areas benefit from good airflow. For both greenhouses and warehouse production spaces, horizontal airflow fans are the standard tool to improve environmental uniformity and reduce incidence of disease.
To read Van Gaal’s full article, click here. While each hydroponic crop has special needs and requirements, some are universal. Let these be the first steps you take to improve your yields and profits.
Hawaii to Repeal Aquaponics Ban
The Hawaii state Department of Health is repealing a law that has been limiting restaurants and some farmers for three decades. The department says it is removing the rule that bans restaurants from buying produce from aquaponics farms. The reasoning is based on national practices and on research that shows no risk to eating aquaponic produce.
Indiana Hydroponic Grower Expands
Aggressively Organic, a central Indiana indoor agriculture company, is growing its footprint. Not even a year old, the company is opening a new 40,000-square-foot facility in Fishers, Indiana, where it will create hydroponic, micro-growth chamber technology to grow produce. Founder Jonathan Partlow says the new space will allow Aggressively Organic to grow up to 6 million plants per year. His vision includes offering a membership-based delivery service model.
Maine Student Raises $1.6 Million to Expand Operation
Trevor Kenkel, a senior at Bowdoin College, has raised $1.6 million from investors to expand his organic farm in Lisbon, Maine. He plans to add a second large greenhouse to Springworks Farm, which is currently New England’s second largest aquaponics farm. By early summer, the 8,000-square-foot greenhouse should be complete and will be the third largest aquaponics operation in the country. With its unique system, Springworks Farm will be able to supply grocery stores and restaurants with fresh, organic lettuce year round.