With hydroponics, you can grow what you want, when you want, and where you want. It is a growing system that is being embraced wholeheartedly by new and experienced farmers alike on a worldwide scale that is starting a food-growing revolution.
There are numerous reasons why growers are flocking to hydroponics. Let’s have a look at just 10 of them.
10 Reasons To Embrace Hydroponics
1 Space Saving
Many traditional outdoor farming methods rely on large tracts of land to grow agricultural crops. In an outdoor setting, plants need space to spread their roots in the search for nutrients and water within the soil in order to survive. Planting them too close together would create a survival of the fittest scenario, where some plants would wither and die.
And the farmer’s yield would suffer as a result.
Hydroponics does not have this problem. With the water and nutrients being delivered directly to the roots, it enables more crops to be situated closer together, and consequently, more of them can be grown in a much smaller area when compared to traditional farming.
So, in essence, it’s possible to grow more crops using less landmass.
2 Less Labor Intensive
Picking vegetables and fruits is a labor-intensive job on outdoor farms, which is normally conducted in the picking season in high temperatures for hours on end. Farmers have to employ sometimes hundreds of laborers seasonally, and that comes at a cost that has to be passed on to the consumer.
Agricultural businesses are always researching ways to reduce overheads and to provide a more cost-effective product to their buyers. Many of these farmers are being attracted to hydroponics due to its reduced reliance on a large manual labor force, a labor force that is dwindling within the farming industry as retirees are not being replaced by younger recruits.
The appeal of harvesting crops quicker, cheaper, with fewer labor requirements, is a cost-saving advantage that cannot be overlooked by any savvy businessman in a competitive industry like farming.
3 Saves On Water
Recirculating water is one of the tenets of hydroponics, the same water flowing through a looped system to be used repeatedly. This controlled and efficient method uses at least 10 times less water than outside farming where water can be lost to evaporation, or simply lost as it just drains away unused into the soil.
There is no comparison to which farming method conserves more water. In fact, there is a disturbing statistic, in this period of climate conservation, that 80% of the water used in the United States is by field farms, a large quantity of it wasted to an unimaginable degree.
4 Doesn’t Use Soil
There are numerous locations in places such as Africa where once-thriving farms are now unable to grow crops due to soil erosion. This is generally down to agricultural practices that have eroded the soil over years of bad harvesting practices. This reduces the arable land available for growing food, which in turn leads to less food production for the local population.
The end result in such situations is that severe food shortages can rapidly turn into a serious problem for the local population, with the worst-case scenario being a full-blown famine. With the hydroponics system, the lack of soil enables crops to be grown in any environment, bringing food certainty where before there was nothing but trepidation.
5 Faster Crop Growth There is a demand for plant-based protein foods that is not just a passing phase, and hydroponics is in a unique position to deliver fruits and vegetables to consumers not just at ever more competitive prices, but faster.
With an efficient nutrient and water delivery system devoid of chemicals or pesticides such as this, the crops can be grown faster. This enhanced crop rotation increases food production and helps to drive costs down while boosting profits for the farm.
Additionally, C02 omissions can be greatly reduced if the hydroponics farm is located in an urban environment close to their customer, reducing transportation time and costs, and protecting the environment at the same time.
7 Flexible Farming
With the ability to grow fruits and vegetables indoors in a controlled collective, many more options become available to expand the range of crops that can be grown simultaneously. A wider variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables can be grown side by side, whereas traditionally these crops would never coincide seasonally in an outdoor endeavor.
This environment allows the hydroponics farmer to control every aspect of the enhanced growing period, from the lighting, the specific nutrients required for each type of crop, control of the interior climate, and especially the quantity of water to be delivered to the roots.
Everything can also be monitored constantly, with minute tweaks easily implemented if and when needed for maximum results and to control whatever pests infiltrate the system. With this level of control, the crops grow up to be healthier than their counterparts in soil, and, more importantly, get to market faster.
Based solely on per square foot, hydroponics is far and away a superior farming method, enabling a vast array of plants that can be prepared, planted side by side, primed to grow, and harvested again and again in record time.
8 Quality Control
No matter what type of farming method is being utilized, strict quality control guidelines must be adhered to. Hydroponics simplifies the procedures because, literally, everything is under one roof.
Every aspect of the growing cycle can be scrutinized constantly so that adjustments can be made quickly and easily, ensuring that plants are not being underfed, overfed, or are not being exposed to too much sunlight.
This level of precise control over the environment, which can be monitored day or night, produces consistent high-quality products, products that consumers demand in today’s health-conscious society.
This way of farming is revolutionizing the way fruits and vegetables can be grown, and being able to grow food faster, healthier and in a sustainable way, can only be a good thing for the planet.
In an ideal world being able to afford fruits and vegetables should be within the grasp of everyone. Unfortunately, even crops that grow on trees have a cost, have overheads, so are not accessible to all budgets.
Hydroponics has two major benefits over outdoor farming that promotes it as the farming method of the future: it reduces labor costs and grows the product faster. Both of these factors contribute to the possibility of these fruits and vegetables being more affordable and being available to a wider consumer base.
There is a saying that if you build it, they will come. With hydroponics the saying should be if you grow it cheaper and faster, they will buy.
There is a shortage of food in various parts of the world. This is often the result of inadequate arable land, harsh weather conditions, or lack of a regular water supply, to name just a few of the obstacles.
Hydroponics is not dependent on the quality of the land, is immune to harsh weather fluctuations, and water, once installed in the system, is not a problem. Sustainable is the keyword where the recirculating circuit has little to no water waste, that precious commodity being able to be used repeatedly.
Hydroponics has to be at the forefront as one of the primary solutions for food insecurity on a global level. Its capacity for increased food production without soil erosion is protecting the planet, making it an extremely environmentally friendly way to grow food.
Combine that with the flexibility to operate a hydroponics farm in a variety of locations, enabling whole communities to feed themselves with high-quality nutritious foods, ensures that this system is the future of farming.