Improving the drainage of container-grown blueberry crops can improve both fruit quality and yield according to the manufacturers of a new hydroponic tool.
The Spacer Hydropot system from Spanish company Hydroponic Systems improves root development, and therefore overall plant growth. It consists of a polypropylene gutter which raises the growing bag off the ground, and a 30×30 cm ‘tray’ which supports the bag. The system ensures air movement and drainage below the roots, while keeping them contained in the growing media.
“It allows blueberry growers to obtain all the advantages of our system: the optimum aeration between the substrate and drains, the prevention of root exit from the substrate and its contact with drainage,” explains Maria Gimenez Lopez from Hydroponic Systems. “Thanks to the easy installation and disinfection and the efficient drainage circulation, the diseases decrease – offering eventually a production that’s both higher in quality and quantity.
“This system evolved from systems having the pot resting directly on the ground to using different supports (such as polystyrene or bricks) up until the current Spacer Hydropot. Bricks or polystyrene do not allow aeration between the substrate and the drains and as a consequence the roots leave the substrate.”
Photo Caption: Diagram showing the support structure, here used in conjunction with a gutter drain.
Photo Credit: Hydroponic Systems
The post New system improves blueberry production appeared first on Hort News on 26 September 2018.
A studentship is available to work with Phytoponics and Aberystwyth University, giving the successful applicant the chance to consider what makes a successful hydroponic crop and how can we improve the agronomy of hydroponics to maximise the yield, efficiency of production and crop quality.
South Wales-based has developed the Hydrosac, a novel device for growing plants hydroponically that expands the range of applications of hydroponics. According to the firm the Hydrosac opens up the opportunity to develop novel agronomy for large scale hydroponics and to develop varieties that are specifically selected for use in hydroponic agriculture.
The project will grow a diverse population from a range of potential salad crops in Hydrosacs, identifying suitable variations to improve plant growth for hydroponic systems and will identify what characteristics are associated with superior performance to establish the characteristics that define a successful hydroponic crop. A major outcome will be to identify the potential impact of new breeding programmes specific for hydroponic agriculture.
Specific aims include identifying crop phenotypes in hydroponic and conventional growing systems, testing how different crops may be optimally linked through hydroponics to maximise the use of nutrient and space, and performing a large scale test of selected crop types to confirm in detail improvements in hydroponics using the Hydrosac for yield and nutrient content.
Photo Credit: Phytoponics
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A £2.5 million investment by the James Hutton Institute and Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) means that the first vertical farm in the UK will be built near Invergowrie.
The high-tech facility will produce crops such as lettuce, baby leaf and micro-greens using technology such as hydroponics and LED lighting. It will feature automated towers and complex software which will take the cheapest electricity from the grid at times of surplus. Although some commentators have expressed doubts about the commercial viability of such facilities, the developers say that they expect production costs to fall quickly.
Henry Aykroyd, chief executive of IGS, said, “Our mission is to enable our customers to be the lowest cost producers by growing local globally, with better quality and saving natural resources. The process uses little water, no pesticides, can enhance taste and is consistent all year round.”
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
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Coir supplier Cocogreen and its Hungarian partner Duna-R have opened a new research and training centre for growers of paprika and other hydroponically grown crops.
Located in Szentes, two hours from Budapest, the new centre is in the heart of the Hungarian paprika (pepper) and tomato growing region, while other crops grown at the centre include strawberries, raspberries, aubergine, Gerbera, roses and turf.
The complex consists of six polytunnels and greenhouses featuring hanging gutter systems, Priva climate control and automated fertilization and irrigation units. All crops are grown in Cocogreen Climate Mix coir substrates.
“There are growers in Poland and Austria with advanced glasshouses but in need of training to achieve optimal results with hydroponic systems,” says Attila Ruszthi, of Duna–R. “Growers can visit these trials and assess the results using local varieties, bred and grown at the trial station in Cocogreen coir substrates. We are organizing training and dedicated trials to meet their needs and to optimize our products according to their cropping strategies.”
“Cocogreen is committed to helping educate growers about using coir and associated hydroponic technologies,” added Thomas Ogden of Cocogreen, manufacturers and suppliers of coir. “At this new trials centre, growers from Eastern and Central Europe can see at first hand the major improvements that can be achieved in comparison with existing systems.”
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