Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hydroponics or Soilless farming-Modern Technology based on water

 Hydroponics is the farming technology where we control the growth and productivity of plants by controlling the water and its nutrient level.The word Hydroponics means 'Water Related'.Here in this technology we are replacing soil and its functions with water and technology.So it is also called Soilless farming.This farming technology has greater applications in modern farming practices.So lets have a study of this technology.

 In Hydroponic system,water is enriched with nutrients which are essential for plant growth and productivity. PH level also will be maintained within specified range.Plants are considered as great factories,where the inputs are nutrients,light and outputs are its leafs,fruits etc.So in this factory,we input nutrients through water medium and plant use these nutrients with the sunlight to produce output.

 As early said,we are replacing Soil.While doing it we have to ensure that our system provides all the basic functions of soil even in the absence of soil.So lets check which are the basic functions of soil and what are the alternative ideas in our hydroponic system to replace soil.

1) Support for the plant root system:In hydroponics,we use some inert medium like sand,gravel,rock wool to support plant root system or plastics are used to provide the support for the plant
2)Supply of essential Nutrients:Soil provides essential nutrients to the plant from its organic contents.In hydroponics we are adding fertilizers in water to provide essential nutrients.
3)Supply of Oxygen:Plants use Oxygen present in soil for their metabolic activities.We can supply Oxygen through water in the same way as we do to supply oxygen in Fish tank.
4)Supply of water:Soil provides enough water to plant root system in conventional farming.we can directly give water to plant root system in Hydroponics.

Thus we are replacing soil without affecting plant functions.

Advantages of hydroponics

  • Less pollution: Hydroponic setup use almost all Nutrients in the water which result no wastage of Nutrients and no pollution to the environment
  • Require Less Water:As we are utilizing water and nutrients in optimized way,Hydroponic system require less water compared to traditional farming practices.
  • Faster growth and high production:We are supplying all essential nutrients to the plant in optimized way.So the growth rate and productivity are high.
  • Ease of management: the whole system can be automated easily and managed effectively
  • Less Herbicides and pesticides: Soil is the main source of weeds.We are avoiding them by hydroponics.By utilizing other technologies like greenhouse farming,we can avoid pests completely.
  • Require Less farming space:Any space where we can hold plants and hydroponic system can be utilized for farming.
  • Quality products: The output of hydroponic system is quality products.
  • This technology can be easily applied with Greenhouse Technology to get better result.
          High initial cost for the Hydroponic system setup is the main drawback of this technology.However this technology is being utilized in many Greenhouse farms and will be one of the key technologies in farming industry.


Hydroponic Fodder machine is the latest application of Hydroponics.Its a unit constructed based on Hydroponics technology to cultivate green fodder.Its main application comes in Dairy farming.The price of the Hydroponic fodder machine varies based on the size and quality of the product.The price ranges from 40000 to 2 Lakhs. It is most useful in areas where green fodder availability is very less.

If your Dairy farm is in an area where Monsoon availability is high and Green fodder unavailability is very rare,the you can construct a temporary setup in a small Polyhouse shelter to satisfy your seasonal requirement.This will avoid unnecessary cost to your farm. 

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  1. we give almost all nutrients thru water in hydroponics. So which category it belongs t; in Chemical or Organic farming ? We are giving Chemical as nutrients for the "required" quantity and is it going to be harmful for human ? I think the question does't arise whether we use Chemical or Organic fertiliser in hydroponics ? Do u get me ? Pls clarify

    1. Yes.You are right.We are giving chemicals as fertilizers in Hydroponics farming.So it is not an organic farming method where we apply natural materials to nature and receive what nature give us.But the concept of Hydroponics can be utilized to develop a system where we can give organic fertilizers like panchagavya instead of chemicals.This is not a complete hydroponics,but we are utilizing its concept in organic farming.Hydroponics products are not harmful to human,but it lacks some natural flavors which we can get from organic products..

    2. Hydroponics farming is the same as chemical farming. It is NOT organic. The same chemical inputs are used but the soil is replaced with another medium.
      got it?

  2. Yes ..Hydroponics farming is not Organic farming in true sense.Chemicals are used for providing nutrients to the plants.But compared to conventional farming where pesticides are used in soil and plants to remove pests,the products are pesticide free as there is no soil and soil pesticides.
    But if we make some modifications,it can be Organic too
    1.Replace the Chemicals / fertilizers with Organic manures like panchagavya,Vermiwash.Provide these through the medium of water
    2.Hydroponic farming done inside a greenhouse.In this case,no need to use pesticides.thus the products are pesticide free.

    Combined these two we can get Chemical free Organic products.