Environmental benefits of hydroponic farms

Environmental benefits of hydroponic farms

When you think of farms, you would probably imagine acres of open fields, rows of tilled soil, seedlings lining the top of the mounds and crops growing in neat rows under the bright sun. While much of the world's fruits and vegetables are grown this way, there are other ways to farm that are more efficient and use less land - hydroponic farming.

Hydroponic farms are those that grow plants in a water-based solution rather than in soil. Commercial hydroponic farming has been increasingly popular in developed countries. There are many benefits to this type of farming, both for the environment and for the farmers themselves. In this article, we will explore how hydroponic farms work and what are some of the environmental benefits of hydroponic farms.

How do hydroponic farms work?

Hydroponic farms use a variety of methods to grow plants in water rather than soil. The most common method is to suspend the plant's roots in a nutrient-rich solution. The solution is typically recirculated and oxygenated so that the roots have access to everything they need to grow. Nutrients mixed in water include phosphorus, nitrogen, and calcium.

The global hydroponics market size was valued at USD 2.1 billion in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.7% from 2021 to 2028. The driving force behind this growth is the increased use of hydroponic systems for the indoor farming of vegetables.

Other methods include growing plants on a submerged substrate, such as gravel or clay pellets, and using a drip system to deliver the nutrients directly to the roots. Another growing medium commonly used is coconut coir. It is a shredded fibrous product made from coconut husk.

Why are hydroponic farms good for the environment?

There are many reasons why hydroponic farms are good for the environment and why you should consider starting a hydroponics business. 

1. Less land is used

One of the most obvious benefits is that hydroponic farms use less land than traditional farms. In traditional farming, every plant dug into the ground occupies a fixed space that does not change throughout the maturation period of the plant.

In hydroponics, the plants are grown in a smaller space and don't need all the extra land for roots to spread out. Nutrients in the growing solution are distributed in a different manner as compared to soil. In addition, multiple crops can be grown in the same space, further reducing the amount of land needed. It is estimated that the use of land in commercial hydroponic farming is reduced by 50%, and the use of water is reduced by 90%.

2. No pesticides or herbicides are needed

Another great benefit is that hydroponic farms don't need pesticides or herbicides. Because the plants are grown in a controlled environment, there is no need for these chemicals. This is not only good for the environment, but it's also good for the plants themselves. Pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to plants and can actually reduce yields.

3. Less fossil fuel use

Hydroponic farms also use less fossil fuel than traditional farms. This is because the transportation of food is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. By growing food locally, we can reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed to transport food long distances.

In addition, hydroponic farms use less energy overall. Because the plants are grown in a controlled environment, there is no need for irrigation or other energy-intensive farming practices.

4. Beneficial for the soil

Soil erosion is a major challenge faced by traditional farmers. Every year, billions of tons of topsoil are lost to wind and water erosion. This loss of topsoil reduces the productivity of the land and leads to desertification.

By growing plants in a water-based solution, there is no need to disturb the soil. This means that the roots of the plants are not exposed to wind or water erosion. In addition, hydroponic farms can help improve the quality of the soil. Because they use less water, there is less runoff from these farms. This means that fewer chemicals and fertilisers end up in the soil, which can eventually lead to improved soil quality.

Some hydroponic systems reuse the water and nutrients from previous crops. This means that there is less of a need for chemical fertilisers, which can be harmful to the environment.

5. Faster growth

According to the UN reports on the global population, plants grown in hydroponic systems have achieved a 20%–25% higher yield than the traditional agriculture system, with its productivity being 2–5 times higher.

The faster growth rate is due to the fact that plants grown in a controlled environment have access to the ideal conditions for growth. They receive the perfect amount of light, water, and nutrients. This allows them to grow to their maximum potential.

Are hydroponic farms the future of farming?

So are hydroponic farms the future of farming? It's hard to say for sure. There is no doubt that hydroponic farms have many benefits for the environment. With the world's population continuing to grow, we will need to find more efficient ways to produce food. Hydroponic farms may be the answer.

Brio Hydroponics is among the leading companies in the world that are working on making hydroponic farms more mainstream, with a focus on commercially profitable farming methods to boost sustainable ways of living. We provide the right support and resources to help you start a hydroponics business.

With our Hydroponic Joint Venture program for commercial hydroponic farming, we are looking for forward-thinking partners who want to invest in the future of agriculture and help build a more sustainable world.

Conclusion

Hydroponic farms offer a number of environmental benefits over traditional farming methods. With the right resource and expert support from Brio Hydroponics, anyone can get started in this rapidly growing industry. You can join us in our mission to build a more sustainable future for the world.

Want to know more about how you can get started in hydroponic farming? Contact us today to learn more about our hydroponic joint venture program.