05 Jul Hydroponic Farming and 5 of Its Incredible Environmental Benefits
Hydroponic Farming 101. For decades, humankind has been trying to find a way to cultivate its agricultural resources effectively. Throughout the years, solutions have been developed to meet the world’s expanding consumption demand, from introducing irrigation techniques to utilizing modern technology such as the latest smart farming system. One of the most sustainable methods of farming known is Hydroponic farming. It was introduced in 1699 by Jan van Helmont, a Belgian chemist, physiologist, and physician. His brilliant invention has now resided as a base for agricultural activities worldwide.
Introduction to Hydroponic Farming
Hydroponic Farming is a modern crop growing method that requires less water, less space and no soil. Instead of using soil for plant nourishment, crops are supplied mineral-rich water daily and the roots are supported by either an inert media, such as perlite, gravel, or other substrates. Plants commonly known to be planted as hydroponic plants are lettuces, tomatoes and pepper.
This farming method is categorized into horticultural art. Horticultural art is the cultivation of plants in gardens for the production of food and medicinal substances, as well as for comfort and ornamental purposes.
Environmental Benefits of Hydroponic Plantation
Standard field farming practices have received a lot of negative attention, ranging from concerns about soil erosion to excessive water usage to outbreaks of food-borne illness. Good news! This technology is the most suitable answer to almost all the problems of normal farming practices. Below are 5 of Hydroponic Plantation’s benefits to the environment:
1. Water Conservation
Green Our Planet mentioned that Hydroponic Farming promotes the efficient use of water up to 90%. Conventional farming is known to be one of the largest water consumers in the industry due to the irrigation system used. On the contrary, the hydroponic system does not let the water go to waste but traps the water and reused it. With that being said, if this method is applied to most of the crops production sector, clean water will be saved and conserved.
2. No Exposure to Chemical Products
Hydroponic Farming utilizes 60% less fertilizer than traditional methods. As no soil is utilized in a hydroponic garden, there are no weed and pest outbreaks. With that being said, hydroponic crops are grown without the use of these potentially dangerous substances. This allows farmers and consumers to benefit from products without worrying about the chemical residue.
3. No Soil Erosion
Farmers that choose to adopt hydroponic systems will profit from avoiding soil erosion and weeds, which are two of the most common difficulties with traditional agriculture. Field farming has led to approximately fifty per cent of the world’s soil eroding over the last 100 years, reducing the quantity of arable land available to humans. With the hydroponic plantation on hand, Soil erosion is not a concern because they do not need soil to grow crops.
4. Less Space Needed
One of the most remarkable advantages of implementing hydroponic agriculture as the primary approach is the ability to save space. The growth of roots in conventional farming is wider as roots need to spread out to seek nutrients and water. In hydroponic planting, on the other hand, plants are given adequate nutrients to grow, making the root smaller in size.
Referring to the statement before, more space will be available for other plants to grow and the yield of crops will eventually increase.
5. No Pests Invasion
Hydroponic plants can grow indoor which leads to controllable humidity and light condition. Most pests and weeds problems grow due to the weather and windborne. Using this method will decrease the likelihood of pests invasion in the environment.
Where to Start?
Although the set-up of hydroponic plantations might look complicated, it actually is not. For the basics, UGAOO mentioned that there are 7 pieces of equipment needed to build a good, mini hydroponic farm: growing chamber, reservoir, submersible pump, delivery system, timer, air pumps and grow light. With these, a simple hydroponic system can be made and crops can be grown at home. To know more about hydroponics, contact the local hydroponic community.
Extensive knowledge in food and agricultural sustainability can be found in these following articles: 5 Easy Steps to Reduce Our Foodprint and The Concept of Food Security as the Global Awareness on Implementing Zero Hunger