Local and sustainably grown foods are becoming more popular among general public. As food grown in this way becomes more competitive in pricing, the popularity can only increase. For farmers using hydroponics, this means that analysis of their farm economics and business strategy needs to be evaluated often. Profit margins for hydroponic greenhouse farms are generally expected to be at a minimum of 50%, but with organic methods this margin can increase to 60%. Further analyzes can uncover additional changes that can be implemented to increase the profit even further.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a huge market for locally-grown food, so farmers need to make sure their prices are competitive.
  • Choosing how to grow is difficult, with many options ranging from traditional to high-tech.
  • One of the best cost-effective methods of growing is a greenhouse, especially combined with organic methods.

“A typical greenhouse farm can expect gross profit margins that range from 50% – 65% for lettuce and tomatoes.”

Read more: https://www.hortidaily.com/article/9225135/farm-economics-soilless-hydroponic-farm-costs/

H2O Hydroponics in Lansing has officially been acquired by GrowGeneration. H2O Hydroponics did $4 million in sales last year. They are estimating that Marijuana sales will be around $3 billion globally once it is available all over. They bring in a lot of tax for the country being around $495.7 million. It’s a booming business that has many positive effects for the country. Hopefully our lawmakers will start to see this in the near future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Denver-based GrowGeneration has purchased the assets of Lansing’s H2O Hydroponics LLC.
  • One report estimated the total economic impact of cannabis sales will approach $8 billion.
  • The law permits individuals to grow up to 12 plants and/or possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis.

“The recreation marijuana market in Michigan is expected to be a boom for the suppliers like GrowGeneration.”

Read more: https://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/h2o-hydroponics-in-lansing-acquired-by-growgeneration-new-organic-garden-operations-coming-to-state-capital/

Hydroponics are becoming increasingly popular way of raising plants, but some people have taken this method a step further thanks to their creativity. Growing edible plants is a novel idea and for some people it means tapping a new market. Nadine Stielow used to grow ornamental plants and she describes how hydroponic growing was a method for her to expand the business in a more sustainable way. Once she started thinking about growing edible plants, the idea really took off and attracted new customers. Her plants can be used as food or decoration, but she also uses her products to raise awareness about sustainable hydroponic practices.

Key Takeaways:

  • One farmer has found a great demand for edible plants that are ornamental and grown using hydroponics.
  • She started growing with hydroponics to improve the sustainability of her farm.
  • The experiment happened during the pandemic, and was met with a lot of interest from customers.

“Two years ago, after growing seasonal ornamentals for 7 years, Stielow decided to expand her business by starting to grow greens and herbs hydroponically.”

Read more: https://www.hortidaily.com/article/9226297/hydroponically-grown-edible-ornamentals-an-untapped-market/

Many look forward to the flower baskets in downtown Kenosha but with Covid-19 happening that has been affected as well. The $30,000 budgeted for the flower program went to fund the Small Business Recovery fund. Many area businesses did not want to scrap the Flower project completely so a compromise was reached with Maria Caravati, the owner of Equinox. Maria worked with Alexandria Binanti Robinson, the executive director of Downtown Kenosha Inc. to create the flowers still in a smaller scale. They still purchased the flowers through the same supplier Burr Oaks in Somers, but volunteers came together and planted the flowers into planters. They also gave plants to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Volunteers have stepped in to water the plants, and local businesses that are displaying the planters are also taking care of them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Because of budget issues this year, Kenosha will not have its usual floral baskets downtown.
  • Due to the coronavirus, money was reallocated from the flowers to help small businesses.
  • However, some money was kept for a smaller version of the traditional flowers.

“For several years, downtown Kenosha has jumped into the busy summer season adorned with huge, bright, colorful hanging baskets.”

Read more: https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/snyder-downtown-blooming-again-this-summer/article_a6ab72b0-8f04-5431-86b4-e7eea9c68d64.html

Although the agriculture industry has stood the test of time, there are always growing trends to make it more efficient and cost-effective. Recently, experts have been focusing on soil health and conservation, which may help combat climate change. With this soil push, farmers are looking into the idea of regenerative agriculture. Also, with limited farm space and growing population, indoor farming is on the rise. On top of that, the hemp industry is expected to grow over $20-billion in the next five years. Finally, farmers are looking at new ways to conserve water.

Key Takeaways:

  • The need to improve soil health has drawn more attention to regenerative agriculture.
  • Only recently legalized, hemp growing is expected to increase to $26.6B by 2025.
  • More farmers are making use of cover crops as a way to control weeds, improve soil compaction, and reduce soil erosion.

“Columbia University’s Earth Institute claims that approximately 25% of the world’s fossil fuel emissions can be removed each year by soil.”

Read more: https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/latest-agriculture-trends-in-the-usa-in-2020/54543

The Center for Food Safety has filed a lawsuit in a bid to stop the The Department of Agriculture from certifying hydroponically grown food as organic. Since this goes against the technically definition, they are unhappy that this word is allowed in selling product that does not use soil in any way. The United States is the only country that allows this specification. Because hydroponics rely heavily on fertilizers, they believe this goes against everything that soil fertility stands for.

Key Takeaways:

  • People are challenging the decision that hydroponically-grown food can be called organic.
  • The suit hinges on the soil, because hydroponic food is grown without soil.
  • As organic farmers focus on soil health, they don’t like that hydroponic food can also be organic.

“Synthetic salts are the most common nutrients used in hydroponics, and most of them are not allowed in products certified organic.”

Read more: https://earthmaven.io/planetwatch/land-agriculture/coalition-files-lawsuit-to-prevent-soil-less-agriculture-from-receiving-organic-certification-PCJkgnEun0mrcdB8mJjECA

The indoor agriculture marketplace is seeing accelerated changes during times of Covid-19 and concern for climate change. The need for food security is causing a lot of places to start vertical and hydroponic growing systems indoors. These systems are allowing farms to produce A-grade food without needing soil and as much water resources. The food also gets to be distributed locally. Many hobbyists are also getting into these trends. The need for change is sparking a lot of innovation.

Key Takeaways:

  • A new webinar series will focus on the big trends happening with indoor farming.
  • The webinar series takes the place of a convention that was cancelled because of the pandemic.
  • Trends include things demanded by customers like plant protein, the use of robotics, and more.

“From COVID-19 to climate change to food security concerns, there are a number of factors accelerating megatrends shaping the indoor agriculture marketplace”

Read more: https://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/what-are-the-megatrends-shaping-indoor-farming/

Greenhouses could help expand the growth of strawberries. There are already some varieties of strawberries that help the strawberry season last until October, and there are some varieties that only last until June. With the help of the greenhouse, production of strawberries could grow exponentially and help out with the supply of them for a lot longer than just a few months.The indoor strawberry may even perform better when it comes to the growth and quality of the fruit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ontario farmers may be growing more strawberries to serve an existing need.
  • Growing strawberries in greenhouses can make the berries available year-round.
  • Read on for more plans and some challenges that the strawberry growers face.

“Traditional perennial varieties are called June strawberries, named after the month they start to have harvestable fruit.”

Read more: https://www.greenhousecanada.com/greenhouse-and-field-strawberry-production-could-supply-50-per-cent-of-ontarios-needs/

A company in Rochester is growing mushrooms out of sawdust. RIT graduate, George Zheng, discovered a way to grow Blue Oyster, Lion’s Mane, and Shiitake mushrooms on sawdust grow packs. The innovation has garnered his company a chance at one million dollars as a finalist for the Grow-NY Initiative. 

Key Takeaways:

A company in Rochester, NY is growing mushrooms from sawdust in grow packs.

The mushrooms they are producing are Blue Oyster, Lion’s Mane, and Shiitake mushrooms.

The innovation has made them a finalist in the Grow-MY Initiative. The grand prize is one million dollars. The winner is to be announced next month.

Quote: “RIT grad George Zheng jokes that he’s a proud mushroom dad. He’s figured out a way to grow premium mushrooms on American hardwoods. Yes, Leep grows specialty mushrooms in sawdust grow packs.” (Mills, 2020)

Link to article: www.spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/rochester/business/2020/10/06/chili-business-grows-organic-specialty-mushrooms-in-american-hardwoods

#verticalfarming #regenerativefarming #grow-ny #urbangardening #sustainability #growhigher

The COVID-19 disruption has exposed supply chains to volatility rarely seen before. Indoor vertical farming promises to shorten food supply chains by bringing food production closer to consumers. It also uses far less land and water, and no pesticides. The problem with vertical farming is the huge amount of energy required to power the indoor facilities. A possible solution lies in microgrids, which localize power generation and bring multiple clean energy benefits. Setting up microgrids requires a lot of upfront capital, but innovative business models like energy-as-a-service have helped to make the investment more attainable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vertical farming is taking off as an alternative in large part because of the panic around the pandemic.
  • Most vertical farms use microgrids to supply their specific energy needs.
  • There are business models in place to help small farms secure microgrids and the technology they need.

“Despite the major advantages, there is one looming barrier to mainstream adoption: the process is very energy intensive.”

Read more: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/06/16/sustaining-the-future-of-indoor-vertical-farming-with-microgrids/