PNC
HYDROPONICS

 

What Are The Benefits?

 

The benefits of hydroponics are:

 

  • A completely sterile environment. There is almost no chance that soil borne disease can attack the plant or infect the fruit or consumer. Fruit and vegetables grown with animal waste based fertilizers can easily be contaminated with deadly ecoli bacteria, among other infection risks.
  • Hydroponics is not organic, but is mostly naturally grown with the exception of commercial fertilizer. All plants reduce fertilizer to its chemical elements to be utilized.
  • No herbicides are used for crops grown in hydroponic environments have no need for herbicides because all extraneous seeds are excluded from the planting medium.
  • Within a greenhouse environment, pest risk is tightly controlled and managed.  PNC Hydroponic contains crops within the greenhouse.
  • In the greenhouse, the grower can control variables so the fruit tastes the same regardless of where or when it is grown.
  • Pesticide use is greatly reduced making our air, water, soil, and food cleaner. PNC Hydroponics relies almost completely on a natural pesticide program. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies involve the deliberate introduction of natural insect predators into the greenhouse to prey on common pests such as aphids and whitefly. Good bugs are used to kill the larvae of the pests that damage the plants and fruit. This prevents the bugs from building immunity to pesticides and causing greater damage in the succeeding generations. Bumble bees are used to pollinate as a further example of using nature to produce top quality crops. IPM will form an integral part of greenhouse systems in the future.
  • Higher yields than traditional, soil-based agriculture.
  • Cultivation of non-arable land. Nutritious fresh food to be grown in areas of the world that cannot support soil based crops. Hydroponics requires no soil whatsoever, meaning that farming can be done in areas with poor or even no soil – Wake Island was hydroponically supplied with vegetables during WWII.
  • Water use optimum efficiency. Hydroponic plants can be provided with the exact amount of water needed – not a drop more, not a drop less. In fact, the water use efficiency of hydroponics is astoundingly high - a properly designed hydroponic setup will use 10% of the water it would take to grow in soil outdoors.
  • Hydroponically grown plants require much less land surface. Plants can be stacked (or even cropped in multi-story buildings, for high-density areas) with extreme efficiency – a hydroponic greenhouse can produce as much plant matter as a conventional field 10 times the size.
  • Reduced strain on infrastructure and logistical benefits. Hydroponic farms can be located wherever power and water are cheap, and can be placed in close proximity to the source of demand, reducing or even eliminating shipping costs.
  • Organic certification. Because hydroponic greenhouses are environmentally-controlled, the need for herbicide and pesticide are greatly reduced or eliminated – which also puts hydroponic farming 90% of the way towards organic certification without any extra effort on the part of the farmer. (note: it is fairly easy to get organic certification in a hydroponic operation, yes, organic is possible)
  • Hydroponic waste water (run off), which contains valuable water & nutrients is able to be collected, filtered, treated and recycled.
  • More product more profits. Hydroponic crop yields and crop rotations are usually much higher than crops grown in fertile soil in the same environment. This is financially significant.
  • Plants are provided with all the nutrients they require in exact quantities and nutritional recipes can be fine tuned based on observations of the crop or laboratory testing.
  • Nutrient deficiencies can easily be detected and corrected with a high degree of control and responsiveness.
  • Enhanced shelf life. Exact nutrition provides for a better cell structure in the plant resulting in a longer shelf life after harvest.
  • A high degree of uniformity is obtainable with hydroponic growing – all the plants look virtually identical.
  • Fertiliser usage is usually much lower than with soil growing.
  • When a plant is grown in a soil based media the plant spends energy & time developing extensive root systems to access nutrients in the soil. In a hydroponic system the full nutrition is immediately available to the plant so it focusses more of its energy on abundant vegetative, flower or fruit growth.
  • Modern greenhouse technology and hydroponic growing techniques allows cropping to be extended into higher priced periods.
  • The level of control and predictability experienced with hydroponic growing allows future harvests to be planned and achieved with a high level of accuracy. With soil growing, storms or inclement weather can interrupt or terminate a crop or harvesting schedule.
  • Under hot conditions better water availability to roots can reduce water stress on plants. This provides for less stress related diseases, higher yields and longer plant life.
  • For crops vulnerable to soil diseases, crippling losses can be substantially reduced or eliminated.  Crops are grown above ground in a clean, soil-less hydroponic environment with good air movement from beneath.
  • Hydroponic crops such as lettuces, herbs and strawberries are grown above ground at ideal working heights for planting, cultivation and harvesting.  This provides for better working conditions, faster crop turnover and lower labour costs or work related injuries.
  • Hydroponic systems can be installed on cheap infertile land or waste land as well as inside buildings or on top of buildings. Because of the isolation of the system from any soil or ground water, the risk of crop contamination from heavy metals or toxins in the soil is eliminated. Expensive soil remediation is not required when using a hydroponic system and wasteland that would otherwise sit dormant can now be utilised beneficially for food production.
  • All growing media, nutrients and equipment are able to be assured as sterile before use. Incoming water is able to be filtered, treated and laboratory tested. All inputs are carefully monitored to ensure the growing environment and crop is clean and food safe.
  • After each crop, the preparation and setting up of the next crop is very quick and simple.
  • Weeds are substantially reduced or eliminated when using a hydroponic system.
  • A wide variety of airborne pests can be shielded from the growing area through the use of horticultural mesh, textiles and modern greenhouse technology.
  • An ever changing global climate is no obstacle to successful growing.  Hydroponic crops are almost always grown under cover in a greenhouse or glasshouse, which enables an ideal climate. The greenhouse environment can be heated, cooled, humidified or dehumidified using energy efficient technology. The crop cover eliminates rain and wind damage and the crop remains dry so that associated fungal problems from wet foliage is avoided.
  • Hydroponic growing methods combined with a good greenhouse growing environment will significantly reduce plant stress and provide for a very healthy crop. This significantly reduces the need to use agrichemicals or organic sprays.