200
million


kilograms


of


tomatoes

in


2008.


Eurofresh


has

318

acres


under

glass


and

represents


about


a

third
of

the


commercial


hydroponic


greenhouse


area


in


the


U.S.


Eurofresh


does

not


consider


its

tomatoes

organic,
but

they


are


pesticide

-

free.


They


are


grown


in


rockwool


using


the


run


to


waste

technique.
Some
commercial


installations


use

no

pesticides


or


herbicides,


preferring


integrated


pest


management
techniques.
There

is


often


a

price

premium


willingly


paid


by

consumers


for


produce

which

is


labeled


"organic".
Some
states

in


the


USA

require

soil


as

an

essential


to


obtain


organic


certification.


There

are


also


overlapping
and
somewhat

contradictory


rules

established

by

the


US


Federal


Government,


so

some


food


grown


with
hydroponics

can

be

certified


organic.
Hydroponics
also


saves

water;


it

uses

as

little


as

1

20

the


amount


as

a

regular

farm

to


produce

the


same
amount

of


food.


The


water


table

can

be

impacted

by

the


water


use

and

run

-

off


of


chemicals


from

farms,


but
hydroponics

may


minimize


impact


as

well


as

having


the


advantage

that


water


use

and

water


returns

are
easier

to


measure.


This


can

save

the


farmer


money


by

allowing

reduced

water


use

and

the


ability

to


measure
consequences

to


the


land


around

a

farm.
To
increase


plant


growth,


lighting

systems

such

as

metal


halide

for


growing


stage


only


or


high


pressure
sodium
for


growing/flowering/blooming

stage


are


used

to


lengthen


the


day

or


to


supplement


natural

sunshine
if
it

is


scarce.


Metal


halide

emits


more


light


in


the


blue


spectrum,


making


it

ideal


for


plant


growth


but


is


harmful
to

unprotected


skin


and

can

cause

skin


cancer.


High

pressure


sodium

emits


more


light


in


the


red


spectrum,
meaning

that


it

is


best


suited

for


supplementing


natural

sunshine


and

can

be

used

throughout


the


growing
cycle.
However,


these


lighting

systems

require

large


amounts


of


electricity

to


operate,


making


efficiency

and
safety
very


critical.
The

environment


in


a

hydroponics


greenhouse


is


tightly

controlled


for


maximum


efficiency

and

this

new
mindset

is


called

soil

-

less/controlled

-

environment


agriculture

(CEA).

With

this

growers

can

make


ultra

-
premium

foods


anywhere


in


the


world,


regardless

of


temperature


and

growing


seasons.


Growers


monitor


the
temperature,

humidity,


and

pH


level

constantly.
Hydroponics
have

been


used

to


enhance


vegetables


to


provide


more


nutritional


value.


A

hydroponic


farmer


in
Virginia

has

developed

a

calcium


and

potassium

enriched


head


of


lettuce,


scheduled

to


be

widely


available
since

April


2007.


Grocers

in


test


markets

have

said


that


the


lettuce


sells


"very

well",


and

the


farmers


claim


that
their

hydroponic


lettuce


uses

90%


less


water


than


traditional


soil


farming.
Advancements
With
pest


problems

reduced,


and

nutrients


constantly


fed


to


the


roots,


productivity

in


hydroponics


is


high,
although

plant


growth


can

be

limited


by

the


low


levels

of


carbon

dioxide

in


the


atmosphere,

or


limited


light
exposure.

To

increase


yield

further,


some


sealed


greenhouses


inject


carbon

dioxide

into

their


environment


to
help

growth


(

CO

2

enrichment),

add

lights


to


lengthen


the


day,


or


control


vegetative

growth


etc.
Now

on

to


Aquaculture,

the


other


half


of


Aquaponics
Aquaculture