Picking hydroponic strawberries at the experimental research farm of Proefcentrum Hoogstraten. This is a corporate and government-funded agriculture research station that strives to increase the productivity of local hydroponic farms.
Hydroponic fruits and vegetables allow for more plants per sq meter 60mt/year 160mt/year due to longer seasons, have better disease and pest control, use recycled water, and have no groundwater pollution. They also earn more in cooler months and lower labor costs, harvesting without bending over. Over the fifteen-year life of a greenhouse, a farmer makes more money with hydroponics. Belgian growers prefer short-day cultivars designed to have shorter more intense (bountiful) harvest periods, which require more labor for 2-3 plantings per year. They also work with a day-neutral (long-day) variety, common in USA hydroponic and ground planting.
- ©2023 George Steinmetz
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