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Archi-ponics: Hydroponics and Our Future Featured

A lettuce farm like this represents the agriculture of the future. A lettuce farm like this represents the agriculture of the future.

Everyone is very aware of the state of our country’s economy, and the difficulties many Americans are facing through these challenging times. So many people, who thought they had a career in a stable industry that would see them through retirement, now find themselves starting over in their middle age. Their children graduate from high school and college with degrees, but an unpredictable future. Other industries, such as crop production, that have been looked over by most or taken for granted by many Americans, are now being viewed as a viable career.

Agriculture is now viewed by private investors as one of the safest investments, with great potential for returns in these days of economic stagnation. One thing that is absolutely certain, that you can literally take to the bank, is that people have to eat to survive. There are seven billion people on the planet today, and an estimated three billion more will join us around the globe in the next 50 years. So, chances are that if you can grow food and market that product, you will make some money. However, as anyone who has tried to grow commercial crops knows, it isn’t that easy.

Extreme weather fluctuations and movement of pests imported from foreign countries have contributed to increasing crop failure rates.

In fact, it’s increasingly difficult to farm conventionally.  Extreme weather fluctuations and movement of pests imported from foreign countries have contributed to increasing crop failure rates.

Here’s the daunting reality that we might as well face: because our natural resources are dwindling, today’s agricultural systems’ ability to feed ten billion hungry people in the future will prove difficult, if not impossible. Water will undoubtedly be the most valuable resource going forward. In Southern California, as well as many other places throughout the world, such as the Middle East, Africa, and Australia, water is already scarce. As water dries up, food becomes more expensive, and people panic.

There’s no question that massive countries like China and India will continue to develop their own energy sources, and need more water to do that. Whether it is nuclear, petroleum, hydro-electric, solar or wind, almost all means of converting energy require high levels of water.

With all these clear challenges in the future, how will we manage to maintain the lifestyle and environment that we enjoy today?  Well, there is no one answer, but one thing is certain: Hydroponics plays a key role. With the ability to reduce water use in crop production by up to 90%, increase crop turns and growth rate, and reduce disease and insects, AND the potential to produce nearly $1 million worth of crops per acre, hydroponics will continue to pave a new path for the agricultural community. We will open new doors for urban dwellers to enter into the agriculture industry, reduce the total inputs needed to produce an abundance of food, and, very possibly meet our energy needs through the production of algae, which is promising to be a very efficient and renewable source of energy.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 15:32

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