No rain. Again. That means no crop, and that means you won’t be able to pay the month’s expenses.
The average farmer is starting to see the very real business consequences of our warming climate. If you’re passionate about produce and farming but nervous about the risks of old school farming, there’s still a way to achieve your dream.
Consider going hydroponic. It’s a water-saving, technologically-advanced way of farming that doesn’t leave you at the mercy of mother nature.
Ready to learn how to start a hydroponic farm business? Let’s have a look!
What Is Hydroponic Farming?
Hydroponics is the farming technique of growing plants in water solvent instead of soil. These greenhouse systems deliver nutrients to plant roots via the water solvent instead of the roots sucking nutrients up through the soil.
The protection the greenhouse gives from the outside environment means there are far fewer bugs and plant disease to combat. That means you can limit the number of pesticides and herbicides.
Types of Hydroponic Farms
Hydroponic farms come in two main types: active and passive. Active systems use a pump to deliver a nutrient-rich water solution to your crop. They include water culture, ebb & flow, recovery and non-recovery drip systems, nutrient film technique (NFT) and aeroponics systems.
Passive systems are more basic. They’re easier to set up, inexpensive, and portable. You can choose between using a wick or drain-down passive style.
Pros and Cons of Hydro Farming
Producers can be turned off hydroponic systems because of the start-up costs of complex tubing and timer systems. But as soils are increasingly arid and nutrient-poor, growing outside is also getting much harder.
Hydroponic farms save on water and yield more crops than tradition farming thanks to the steady supply of nutrients to plants and the protection from the elements.
How to Start a Hydroponic Farm Business
If you, like an increasing number of producers, see the competitive advantage in going hydro, there are some steps you’ll need to take.
1. Market Research
Find out what produce local vendors want more of, yet have trouble sourcing. Talk to supermarkets, restaurants, schools, and even attendees of local farmers markets.
2. Business Research
Buy some popular hydroponic farming how-to books to make sure you’ve got some base knowledge. You might be lucky enough to find a sort course at a local community college, or online, that can bring you up to speed
3. Look for Suppliers
You’ll now need to look for equipment suppliers to get your hydro farm set up. Talking to suppliers while getting quotes for your hydroponic system is another step in your education on the best systems for your crop and climate.
4. Grow Baby, Grow!
Now you’ve got the equipment and the know-how-how, all that’s left is to get growing! Hydroponic farming is an industry where you’ll be on track for lifelong learning, and where you can be part of a network of environmentally conscious business people.
Time to Get Growing!
Now you know how to start a hydroponic farm business. You’ll need to work out what market you want to hit – organic lettuce, tomatoes, maybe even medicinal marijuana. The sky’s the limit.
Enjoy this article? You’ll find lots more helpful, practical business advice on our other blogs. Get smart with your business – hydroponic or not – at our blog today.