Crop diversity is a term that refers to the planting of different crops on the same farm and the planting of different varieties of one crop. It is becoming an even more critical part of agriculture, as there is an increased need to protect the world’s food supply, thanks to the impact of biodiversity on the health of agricultural ecosystems. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is vital in expanding crop diversity. It allows for a wider variety of products to be grown as the crop’s success is not weather dependent.
Gelponics technology is a range of non-synthetic hydrogel formulations available in various outputs, which are suitable for a wide variety of applications – including Controlled Environmental Agriculture.
The benefits of CEA in promoting crop diversity
CEA is helpful for agriculture as it allows farmers to overcome geographical limitations, allowing for the cultivation of a wide range of crops. Farmers may refrain from growing certain crops as they don’t thrive in their current climate. CEA means farmers are not limited to seasonality, soil conditions or temperamental weather.
Some of the other advantages of CEA include:
- Reduction in the use of chemicals – the controlled nature of indoor farming means that chemical pesticides and fertilisers are often not needed, with air purifiers and UV lighting used as the primary barrier against contamination instead.
- More efficient land use – traditional farming tends to have a large footprint, whereas CEA can increase efficient food production while vastly reducing the amount of land needed. It can even help to rejuvenate brownfield land and breathe new life into derelict spaces.
- Reduction in water usage – research has shown that CEA uses around 95% less water than traditional farming.
CEA also enables cultivating regionally specific or non-native crops, enhancing crop diversity.
How does Gelponics empower CEA for crop diversity?
The unique properties of Gelponics sustainable growth substrate contribute to successful CEA operations. They allow all the water and oxygen required for healthy root growth to be stored and released as necessary, promoting optimal water retention, nutrient delivery and root development.
Using Gelponics as your plant media allows for more efficient fertiliser and irrigation application, better soil conditions increased water-holding capacity and enhanced soil permeability, and improved plant health, crop growth and yield.
Controlled Environment Agriculture, or vertical farming, is seen as the future of agriculture. It allows more people to have increased access to fresh produce grown locally, increases agriculture resilience against climate change and natural disasters, and promotes more sustainable agriculture practices such as water conservation and reduced reliance on chemicals.
Collaboration between traditional methods of farming and technological advances, such as Gelponics, will help us all to move towards a more cyclical and cooperative food system.
The team here at Gelponics loves to work with growers to help them contribute towards the goal of more sustainable food production, so please get in touch with us today and find out more about how we can work together to make farming more sustainable.