What Are The Implication For The Future?


Like manufacturing, agriculture is moving toward more technology and capital intensive solutions. Hydroponics is highly productive and suitable for automation but the future of controlled environment agriculture and hydroponics depends on developing systems that are cost-competitive with open field farming. Improvements in associated technologies such as artificial lighting and agricultural plastics, and new cultivars with better pest and disease resistance will increase crop yields and reduce unit costs of production.


Cogeneration projects, where hydroponic greenhouses utilize waste heat from industry and power plants, are already a reality and could expand in the next few years. Geothermal heat could support large expanses of greenhouses in appropriate locations. Further development of solar heating in hydroponic greenhouses will reduce cost and economic impact of hydroponics. Currently, plans are being drawn for using the techniques of soil-less culture on space stations, and perhaps one day on surfaces of other celestial bodies (planets, moons, etc.) that don't have soil.


In the future, all nations including developing nations will be able to feed more people while farming less land. Advances in lighting technology will service more hydroponics in areas with less seasonal sunlight. More non-arable land will be cropped.


Hydroponics is another way that we as a species are learning to adapt to our changing environment, ensuring food security. Technology will find a way to make us healthier.