How Will Agriculture Adapt to Extreme Weather?
January 18, 2023
For the past two weeks, you’ve like been seeing images like this one coming out of California:
Massive rainfall has led to at least 19 deaths in the state, according to the Associated Press. As of Monday of this week, 8 million people in the state were living under a flood warning.
The deluge was especially shocking as it arrived on the heels of a years-long drought. In downtown Los Angeles, for instance, more rain has been recorded already in 2023 that was seen in the entirety of 2022.
What should we make of these extreme weather events? Especially when they are affecting a state that produces more fruits and vegetables than any other in the country?
It’s not just the country that may be affected, in fact, California is the fifth largest producer of food in the world.
Dangerous weather events will only be increasing. According to the EPA, “Scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense with human-induced climate change.”
Climate-related catastrophes like the previous droughts and current floods in California point us to the need for more investment in Controlled Environment Agriculture.
Growing with hydroponics in a greenhouse offers key advantages over soil-based farming when it comes to dealing with these types of catastrophes. Here’s four examples:
Reduce the Carbon Footprint
1-2 acre greenhouses around the country can provide a significant amount of produce to even the largest urban area reducing the need to grow in massive farms in California and ship the produce thousands of miles away across the country.
By using 95% less water, and minimizing the need for pesticides, it is possible to grow clean, healthy food with less impact on the environment, and less dependence on external resources.
They aren’t indestructible, but controlled environments like a greenhouse can allow plants to withstand severe and unexpected weather events.
Hydroponic crop rotation allows for a far more productive use of square footage, as well as year-round growing, even with shifting external conditions.
In the coming years, it will be more important than ever to make sure our food systems are sustainable, resilient, and productive. Hydroponics can be a key part of making sure our communities always have access to clean and delicious produce.
Feel free to contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about starting a hydroponic farm!