From The Editor

Blog by Managing Editor Christine Brown-Paul

Fast growing food production

Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome to this year’s first issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses.

One of our news items in this issue describes how, despite Australian vegetable farm profits being on the increase, the number of farms has decreased. Although the average vegetable farm is making more money and earning higher prices for its produce, cash costs are continuing to rise across the board. See More

Greening of Europe

Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses.

The Netherlands has always been considered to be at the forefront of greenhouse technology and is the undisputed market leader in flowers, plants, bulbs and reproductive material as well as the number three exporter in the world of nutritional horticulture products.

Dutch inventiveness under glass is well known. Nowhere else in the world are plants cultivated on such a large scale – Dutch greenhouses cover an area of more than 60 km2, constituting a city of glass – and with a relatively low impact on the environment. The focus is on concepts and technologies that facilitate energy-efficiency and adaptability to climate change. See More

A growing demand

Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses.

With the global population forecast to hit 10 billion by 2050, there is mounting pressure on food producers and manufacturers around the world to develop new technologies that will help address the increasing demands to feed a hungry world. Principal scientist in strategy and foresight at CSIRO Stefan Hajkowicz said the world would need 70 per cent more food by this time to meet demand. See More

Blowin’ in the wind

At the time of writing, in the US, Hurricane Harvey – deemed category 4 – continues to cut a swathe of destruction, leaving in its path countless numbers of damaged lives, homes and businesses as the death toll in its wake continues to climb. Record amounts of rain have fallen in Texas as a state of emergency has been declared with more than 30,000 people left homeless. So far, 15 trillion gallons of water have fallen on Houston – more than twice as much as fell on New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

The devastation of the Gulf Coast environment and agriculture is incalculable, threatening Texas’ economy and will likely have huge impacts on farmers in the area and around the US. Heavy rains and winds of up to 215kph have effectively wiped out many farms, smashing greenhouses and leaving a trail of untold damage. See More

A taste of paradise

Welcome to the August 2017 issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. As usual, we have a great line-up of stories awaiting your reading pleasure. How many of us have dreamed of escaping to an island paradise not only for a holiday but also perhaps to live a carefree, permanent existence? Tucked away in the Eastern Caribbean, Anguilla is the epitome of such a dream – beckoning visitors with spectacular beaches, breathtaking blue seas and a casual elegance. However, despite its idyllic lifestyle, Anguilla is relatively arid, with islanders relying on imported fresh fruit and vegetables. See More

Consumers choose health

Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Natural medicine has long held that blueberries provide health benefits. Native to North America, they are rich in proanthocyanidin, and believed to help in the fight against cancer and obesity as well as promoting glowing skin. Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, containing vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and a broad range of antioxidants. On the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score – a lab test that attempts to quantify the total antioxidant capacity of a food – blueberries rate 9,621, making them one of the highest antioxidant foods available.  See More

Learning from the past

Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Our lead story for this issue, Aquaponics in China traces the resurgence in popularity of aquaponics in that country – from the time when 6th century Chinese farmers reared ducks in cages with partially open floors positioned above a pond of finfish to the present day when a revolution in food security and sustainability is underway; one that is seeing growing numbers of Chinese middle-class consumers, concerned by food safety scares, turning to growing their own food via urban farming. See More

Seeding the future

By 2050, the world’s population is projected to rise to 9.6 billion people and sustainably growing enough food for a hungry world will be one of the greatest challenges facing humankind.  A recurring theme in a number of our stories for this issue is the question of what measures need to be taken to feed this growing global population and what will be the challenges along the way. See More

Using ammonium to correct pH drift

This is not actually someone’s question, but it is a problem met by many hydroponic growers both hobby and commercial. Unfortunately, it is rarely mentioned in most hydroponic books and forums.

For growers using media based systems, pH drift is a significant change in pH between the dripper solution and the run-off solution. It is usually a rise in pH. For a water–based system without pH control, it is a change in pH with time, For a water-based system with pH control, while the pH remains steady, it results in the addition of an excess amount of acid. In turn this results in the nutrients in the recirculating solution getting out of balance.

So, how and why can ammonium be used to correct thisdrift?

Answer by RICK DONNAN See More

A growing industry

Happy 25th Birthday to us and welcome to this Silver Anniversary issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Our first issue was published as a bi-monthly magazine in November/December 1991 – we look forward to the next 25 years! See More