Hydroponic farming is experiencing a boom and getting a lot of attention in the press, but many are left with the question, "is hydroponic farming really profitable?"
Hydroponic farms are most commonly built indoors or in greenhouses. Both types of farms have been proven commercially, with dozens of farm operations around the world. These are highly productive facilities that are generating enough revenue to pay overhead expenses and provide healthy wages for farm workers.
"Vertical farming is not about how much production you can possibly cram into a space. It’s about growing better food closer to market and maximizing your production as a function of the resources you invest, such as capital, light, water, energy, and labor." - Chris Michael, Bright Agrotech
What can you actually grow on vertical planes?
It's a vital question! Anyone considering a vertical farm should be planning out their crops as part of the process. As a farmer, you have to make sure that you can actually sell what you grow and that your production costs won't be too high.
Part of that is good crop choices.
Although choosing crops should be part of a whole feasibility study for your farm, we thought a guide on some of the best vertical crops for vertical farming would be helpful to people in the middle of the planning process.
We recommend that hydroponic growers flush their systems every month to every few months, depending on the type of system they’re running. But why? We’re also fans of recirculating system because it conserves water and nutrients, so it seems counterintuitive to dump gallons of nutrient solution every few months.
Obviously, the type of hydroponic growing medium you'll choose depends on your crop, method, and purposes. To make that decision, however, you'll be comparing the characteristics of different types of media. Some terms can be pretty meaningless or confusing, especially when you make them into acronyms.
So here's your quick-and-dirty guide to media characteristics and how they can help you.
Your growing substrate is a core element of your farm. It takes up space. It costs money. It requires labor. And it supports, both in the biological and the physical sense, your main product: your crops. Choosing the correct substrate can make your job easier and more profitable. Choosing the wrong substrate can cause speed bumps and set-backs.
So you’re thinking about an automated dosing system, but you’re not sure if you can bite the bullet to pay for it. I can sympathize. When someone suggests you may need an expensive new system to run your business, you might be tempted to quietly tip toe away.
Unfortunately, denial is not a good capitalization strategy. The reality is that you may need an automated dosing system to run a commercial hydroponic system. Even so - you can save money (and frustration) down the road by choosing an automatic dosing system that is right for your facility and your needs.
Hydroponic production gives growers increased control over the way they cultivate their food or medicinal crops.
With practice, many hydroponic growers can fine-tune their growing environment to remove bottlenecks, minimize maintenance, and increase the quality of their produce. One way they do this is through automated nutrient dosing.
With "autodosing" hydroponic growers have the ability to provide the perfect amount of nutrients to their crops, while minimizing their time spent measuring and monitoring - something all commercial growers will gladly embrace.
But, the learning curve behind autodosing can be a bit overwhelming for the new (and even experienced) hydroponic grower. In fact, one of the most common questions we get here at Bright through our various support services is: “Can you help me figure out my nutrient dosing?”