Regardless of whether you think hydroponic production can be organic, the bottom line is all methods of food production should be considered when trying to feed a growing world population.
Can hydroponics be organic?
There is currently much discussion and debate occurring about whether hydroponic production can be labeled as organic. In September 2015 the USDA’s National Organic Program appointed a 16-member task force to look at hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and how they align with USDA organic regulations.
Gene Giacomelli, director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) at the University of Arizona, explained that regardless of whether plants are being grown using a traditional organic approach or one of the various combinations of hydroponics practices (soilless culture), that fundamentally all of these production methods are simply attempting to grow plants for their economic, nutritional and social values. The goal is to use the best available techniques to produce crops of highest quality with the minimum of resources.
“Regardless of the production method, plants must be provided with the environment they need to grow,” Giacomelli said. “The basics of growing plants besides light, carbon dioxide, water and the potential of their crop genetics, there are plant nutrients that have to be distributed to the plant roots.”
The Grodan Cress Plate is the optimal substrate for the production of microgreens and bulk harvested leafy vegetables and culinary herbs in vertical farming production systems. These thin sheets of Grodan stone wool are specially developed for quick growing crops that need minimal substrate.
The plates deliver a uniform water level that provides quick and easy germination. The plates, which are the thinnest Grodan product on the market produce even crop development.
The plates are available in two sizes: 49.5 x 24 x 1 cm, which fits 10/20 trays and 60 x 50 x 1 cm. The 10/20 tray size plates are available 90 per carton; the 60 x 50 size plates come 50 sheets per carton.
— Product Special —
Hort Americas offers special pricing on its hydroponic and organic fertilizers
For a limited time Hort Americas is offering a 15 percent discount on two of its best-selling fertilizers.
Hort Americas designed this water soluble fertilizer to deliver the essential nutrients for efficient uptake by the plants’ root system. It can be used as a constant feed or as a supplement.
Hort Americas developed this unique fertilizer in cooperation with CEA hydroponic specialists, academicians and researchers to meet the nutritional requirements of edible crops produced by hydroponic growers. Hort Americas recommends that hydroponic growers have their water tested by a professional water analysis laboratory to determine its nutrients, pH, EC and total alkalinity prior to using its Hydroponic Fertilizer.
The 25-pound bag of Hort Americas Hydroponic Fertilizer usually sells for $74.62. For a limited time it is available at the special price of $63.43.
Hort Americas is also promoting OMRI-listed Terra Genesis fertilizer in a 2½-gallon jug. This fertilizer was developed for recirculating nutrient film technique (NFT) production systems. It can be used for the production of lettuce and other leafy greens, basil and other herbs.
Terra Genesis is a fermented colloidal molasses formulation combined with a unique complex microbial package. It is derived from fermented sugarcane molasses and other plant extracts.
The 2½-gallon jug, which Hort Americas regularly sells for $52, is available while supplies last for $44.20.
Hydroponic grower considered an up-and-coming career
Kristine Penning, AgCareers.com creative marketing specialist, said hydroponics is being considered the farming production method of the future because of its “space-saving technology and relatively low cost when opposed to land expense and increased scarcity.”
The other jobs expected to be in demand include:
* Agriculture advocacy and literacy specialist
* Social media specialist
* Entomologist/pest control specialist
* Precision agriculture specialists