What is soilless agriculture?
Soilless agriculture is the process of eliminating the soil used in agriculture, and substituting it with an aquatic based environment. The two most popular commercial methods are hydroponics and aquaponics.
Hydroponics: Plants grow in an aquatic based environment, where the plants thrive on a pre-prepared nutrition-rich solution.
Aquaponics: Merging aquaculture with hydroponics, where the fish waste in the water is treated and used for the plants’ nutrition instead of using a pre-prepared solution.
What makes soilless agriculture preferable?
One of the main challenges of traditional agriculture is controlling the environment. Although it is not impossible to control the climate and the nutrition, it is drastically harder to control the quality of soil (Because chemicals and pesticides can accumulate in it, affecting the next generations of crops).
In soilless agriculture, we have the chance to control the nutrition, the climate, and the water (the plant’s growing media). This results in a much shorter cycle (about 2/3 of the normal cycle), in addition to higher productivity and better plant quality.
Another major advantage of soilless agriculture is the fact that water is recirculated and reused throughout the system, which results in saving up to 90% of the water compared to traditional agriculture methods.
Additionally, soilless agriculture can be designed vertically for a more efficient use of land, achieving up to 5 times the normal production from a traditionally cultivated land.
Why isn’t soilless farming as common as traditional farming?
There are two main reasons for this. The first, is that soilless agriculture requires a much larger initial investment to start with. This is due to the extensive equipment required. The second reason is that soilless farming is extremely sensitive, as complete control of all factors is required at all times. This requires high levels of supervision by qualified professionals, In addition to requiring a high-level of research and development in order to do it correctly.
Is it an organic product?
To consider a product organic requires it to have grown in soil, and hence soilless farming produce can’t be labeled organic.
However, produce grown using hydroponics or aquaponics are of the same level of quality, if not higher. This is due to the avoidance of soil-based pests, and creating the best conditions possible for the crops to reach optimal growth naturally.
Are there any added chemicals or pesticides?
No chemical nutrients or pesticides are added. Agrimatic uses natural biological combating and fertilizers (if needed), such as mixtures of pepper and garlic and other specially prepared natural mixtures that provide all the needs of the plants.