Since it’s our 17th anniversary edition of Maximum Yield USA, I thought I’d go through our morgue file and take a look at some of our original magazines. All I can say is what a difference 17 years makes. Our inaugural issue was made from newsprint and was a wafer-thin 30 pages. The design elements by today’s standards were basic, as were the ads. Still, it harbored the spirit of the industry and served its purpose of educating and informing our readers about the latest in products and techniques.
. In this issue of Maximum Yield, we explore the changing face of agriculture and its emerging technology. Cory Hughes provides us with a 10,000-foot view of some of the new advancements in traditional agriculture, including automated agriculture, artificial intelligence, and the rise of agbots.
At the commercial level, leading-edge methods and technology are resulting in higher yields per acre, multiple harvests annually, less power and water consumption, and use of land previously not considered to grow food. For the home grower or hobbyist, over time, technology and best practices filter down, resulting in more efficient and easier to use systems.
Sure, hydroponics may be considered a small industry, but the technology and forward-thinking used in the industry today will likely solve a lot of food supply problems in the future.
Today, nobody knows what society will be like in 2100. We hope it will be a peaceful, healthy, and happy place. One thing we do know is that the people who are here will need to eat, and it’s likely hydroponics will have a large part in fulfilling that need.
The implementation of sustainable agricultural practices, which allow for more efficient utilization of natural resources, as well as reduced pollutant emissions, has become an imperative. Given this context, different cultivation solutions, such as hydroponic methods and alternative fertilizer sources, should be considered. This study evaluated the potential of phytoplankton, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, as a substitute for secondary macronutrients and micronutrients.. Lettuce plants (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata) were grown in a noncirculating hydroponic system in order to test different nutrient solutions. We assessed four different growing media containing: distilled water without added nutrients, distilled water enriched exclusively with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, distilled water enriched with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and Gephyrocapsa oceanica extract, and distilled water enriched with traditional inorganic fertilizers. Growth parameters of the treated lettuce, such as the fresh and dry weight of the shoot and roots, head diameter, root length, leaf area, and specific leaf area were determined. Additionally, we evaluated plant composition in terms of micronutrient profile (Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn) and crude protein and fiber production (neutral detergent fiber NDF, acid detergent fiber ADF, acid detergent lignin ADL, cellulose, hemicellulose). Lettuce plants grown with Gephyrocapsa oceanica extract presented complete development and agronomic parameters, comparable to those of plants cultivated using the conventional nutrient solution. With emphasis to all the parameters, phytoplankton extract result to be suitable for use in hydroponic cultivation and may serve as a promising tool in