Although mostly relegated to specialty operations and underground grows in years past, it’s no longer a debate that hydroponic growing has gone mainstream - and growers who want to boost their profits are celebrating.
That’s because hydroponics aren’t just an efficient and effective way to bring crops to market; a hydroponic system is supremely cost-effective, and when operated correctly a good hydroponic setup can ramp up your profits to help you reach a higher level of success. Whether you’re bringing up vegetables, flowers, or even cannabis, a hydroponic system may be just the answer your bottom line has been looking for.
What Drives Hydroponic Farming Profits?
Starting a farm or a small-scale grow operation can be tough, with up-front startup costs often matching or even exceeding already high rents and land prices. Combined, these can be a serious stumbling block for the new farmer, and can seriously call into question the sense in choosing an outdoor grow over a contained, indoor hydroponic setup.
That’s because, when you look at up-front costs, there honestly isn’t too much of a difference between the cost to start a hydroponic operation and the cost to start a traditional outdoor grow. Where a hydroponic setup might cost the grower more on up-front equipment costs (a greenhouse, lighting equipment, CO2 equipment, etc.), a plot of land can also carry a hefty price tag, and taxes to follow for years.
But by breaking down your available resources into input costs versus output yields, one thing becomes clear: hydroponic grow operations can produce the same amount of food, and sometimes even more, using less space. That means you’ll likely be able to pack the same amount of output on a smaller growing area, with many growers utilizing vertical growing spaces to help boost revenue while keeping costs under control. In this way, hydroponics can seriously shift end profits on your grow after just a few seasons.
Serious Savings on Soil and Water
Many farmers pride themselves on their soil or water qualities, and ideas around terroir and the “taste” of the soil seem to permeate through the industry. But the fact is, growing in the ground often utilizes more resources than are necessary for a crop to flourish, since in-ground farms tend to waste up to 30 to 40 percent of the water meant for the plants. Plus, growing in the dirt can even expose your plants to a wider variety of soil bacteria, plant diseases, and pest infestations - any and all of which can spell the end for your harvest long before the growing season even comes to a close.
Instead, those plants grown in hydroponic environments use no soil at all to reach maturity, and only require a water-permeable material like Perlite to stay stable above a bed of oxygenated and nutrient-rich water. This provides the plants with exactly what they need to grow and reach maturity without the risks associated with growing in soil, and crops can avoid most common pests and diseases since they’re kept relatively contained for the duration of the growing process. That means you can focus on growing the most profitable plants without having to worry about improper growing conditions or an attack by locusts, and it’s all thanks to the security and control of a hydroponic system.
Easy To Grow Organic
The barrier of entry for farmers looking to get into organic growing is high enough, with regulatory costs and special processes needed to secure certification turning many traditional growers away from organics despite the high prices they command at market. Add in the stringent no-pesticides and no-comingling requirements that come with the USDA organic label and it adds up to one seriously difficult avenue for farmers to grow the most profitable plants.
With hydroponic growing, however, maintaining organic status becomes significantly easier than if your crops were in the ground outside. That’s because a hydroponic environment is a tightly-controlled environment, free from accidental exposure to pesticides from the outside air or from water runoff, and because pests won’t be able to reach your indoor grow you won’t have to worry about giving up pesticides and still making your ideal harvest. And although regulatory costs may still be high for organic growing, hydroponics allow you to shave off a good deal of the difficulty associated with organic growing in one easy reorganization.
See Bigger Yields and Lower Long-Term Costs With Hydroponic Farming
Getting started on your hydroponic grow is easier than it seems, and with the right strategy and the right equipment you can get a soil-free farm going and bringing in profits in a fraction of the space you’d need for a traditional yield. Whether it’s the savings you’ll see on water and rent or the higher per-plant yield you’ll gain come harvest time, there are plenty of benefits to choosing hydroponics.
Get in touch with Rimol to get your grow operation outfitted with a modern, efficient hydroponic system, and get going on the future of your grow!