Vantaggio Announces Plans To Utilize The Latest In Hydroponics
Vantaggio has announced plans to transition a majority of its ranches from traditional, soil-based farming to utilizing the latest in Hydroponic techniques. While Hydroponics have been in use for many years, it is relatively new to commercial production.
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without the use of soil. There are many types of growing mediums used in this type of farming. We tend to use coco fiber, which is made from the husks of coconuts. This type of medium breaks down very slowly, and does not provide any nutrients to the plant, which is ideal since we want to control exactly what the plant eats. Additionally, moisture retention is high using coco fiber, while also allowing for ample aeration of the root system.
All of our produce is grown in protected environments, specifically in what is known as a Shadehouse. This structure closely resembles a greenhouse, yet instead of glass or plastic, a Shadehouse is covered using a mesh fabric that allows for natural air flow. Some of the benefits include; increased temperature control, better pest management, decrease in the number of days to harvest, and higher yields and quality. Most importantly, farming in Shadehouses decreases the amount of land needed to produce our crops.
Through drip irrigation, we can control exactly what the plant eats and how much water it receives. Either by computer or hand, our proficient employees constantly monitor the moisture levels and nutrient content of our plants. It is imperative that the plant maintain proper absorption levels, and we take every measure to ensure its health.
There are many benefits to farming Hydroponically, including:
- Decreased amount of land used
- Up to 80% decrease in water consumption
- Elimination of soil depletion and erosion
- Substantial decrease in fertilizers and insecticides
- Elimination in use of herbicides
- Increase in yield and quality
- Reduction of labor
This is an exciting, yet challenging transition for Vantaggio. While we believe Hydroponic farming is the future, it is an enormous undertaking that requires tremendous investment. However, we believe in the process and believe that this type of farming will position Vantaggio to continue to be a market leader well into the future.