Crops Have Started Growing Like Weeds, and Here’s Why
Crops and the agriculture industry have always been a large part of the American culture. We built it from the ground up (no pun intended) when we first settled here, and have continued to research and improve through the centuries. Even now, new trends are making their presence known within the crop industry. Here’s what some of them are and why you should be aware of them.
Hydroponics is one of the newest trends in the agricultural industry. As a subset of hydroculture, it allows planters and other researchers to grow plants without a ton of space or soil. This is important, as crops don’t always take unless the soil meets certain criteria. By removing soil from the equation completely, it opens up doors for the future of crop growing. And it has already shown to reap some benefits compared to traditional planting practices. For example, since the plants in this kind of farming don’t require soil, they can be grown in smaller spaces and allow almost four times as many crops to be put within the same space. Farmers have also estimated that some of these crops can grow almost twice as fast and may use up to 90% less water than their traditionally planted cousins.
Grow lights have also helped to make some tremendous strides in the agricultural industry. These are bulbs using artificial light as opposed to sunlight to make it easier to grow crops indoors. Fluorescents have been shown to be fairly popular, with their market value in 2016 reaching over $50 million. There are other types of grow lights as well including HID or High Intensity Discharge bulbs and LED bulbs which all have their pros and cons. It really depends on what would be best for your plant. If you’re interested in learning more, you can go to your local gardening store for more information on these different bulbs.
The third trend becoming more common lately is using a humidity dome for clones. These domes help maintain the ideal humidity and temperatures to help seeds grow more easily. A humidity dome for clones might seem a bit excessive, but it makes crop growth and particularly clone growth easier for farmers. Clones are created by severing part of an already existing plant and separating it to allow it to grow into a seemingly perfect “clone” of its mother plant. And because these plants are not as exposed to the elements it could potentially diminish the effects of problems like dry spells or pest infestations.
All three of them could potentially make it easier to grow crops in a variety of environments. However, there are controversies surrounding each as well. There are reports that using a humidity dome for clones could actually be killing the clones, and the fluorescent bulbs could be causing harm to your eyes. This just means that we need to research each of these processes carefully to make sure that we are using them as effectively as safely as we can.