Hydroponics is not the future in blueberries, it is the present!

Modern agricultural companies, capable of effectively solving different equations in terms of investment / production / hectare, costs / time / production, volume / quality / price, and other variables that will present the challenge of producing and exporting fruit of excellence in the new scenarios.

The vast majority of experts are betting that the world map of blueberry plantations will continue to grow rapidly in the immediate future. Above all, after the COVID 19 crisis due to the fact that the healthy qualities of the fruit will be preferred by consumers, and because genetics allow us to offer plants with greater organoleptic potential for fruit, in terms of flavor, size or firmness, indispensable requisites required in the world market.

This large increase in the global blueberry industry will mean a better and greater supply to meet the growing demand, which is why modern, professionalized, efficient and productive orchards are required.

Modern agricultural companies, that are capable of effectively solving different equations in terms of investment / production / hectare, costs / time / production, volume / quality / price, and other variables that will present the challenge of producing and exporting fruit of excellence in the new scenarios.

Industry and demands will grow

This intelligent and professional production requires, in addition to being sustainable over time, to adapt to the global reality of climate change and new demands for safety and healthiness of consumers, because in addition to the organoleptic qualities of the fruit, its traceability, its carbon footprint, its water footprint and now the absence of pollution vectors of any nature is added. Consumers will seek maximum safety from the process.

Hydroponics is the answer

The hydroponic production system offers several advantages to blueberry producers, which respond to the new demands of the industry and the markets. Mainly, regarding the control over the entire process in the garden, which allows achieving high levels of efficiency and planning.

In this expansion of the industry, which will involve new plantations in different geographies and diverse climates, hydroponics has preferences due to its advantages with respect to the soil, since it allows a sufficient harvest to be marketed in the first year, in addition to an increase in Production volumes due to having more plants per hectare and because the higher yield of these is verified in earlier phases (50% the first year), which means an important advantage for producers.

All climates, all geographies, all varieties

Hydroponic techniques are ideal in regions with excess rainfall or lacking water resources, tropical, Mediterranean, temperate, desert, or southern. They are applicable to all varieties of bilberry. In soils suitable or unsuitable for cultivation. The substrates provide a good aeration capacity and the containers favor the correct growth of the plant, since it is a very sensitive crop to excess humidity, and with hydroponics perfect drainage is achieved. This technique favors the good root development of blueberries, which is shallow, so frequent, low-flow irrigation helps to efficiently apply water and nutrients, achieving greater control and uniformity, therefore, a more homogeneous production. .

Irrigation efficiency

In times of drought or severe climatic disturbances, such as those suffered worldwide by climate change - the tendency of the leaves to become ill when exposed to humidity for long periods of time, or the danger of water stress that would imply a decreased shoot growth - drip irrigation is the ideal solution for growing blueberries, since it supplies water directly to the root zone, avoiding contact with the leaf and keeping the soil moist, without saturation.

Hydroponics spreads throughout the world

In summary, the hydroponic production system has gained wide acceptance by many blueberry growers throughout the world, and is already implemented from North America to southern Patagonia and from Africa to Scandinavian lands, and the reason is in the multiple advantages it offers in terms of higher yields, better quality and safety of the fruits, greater control of the climate and supply of nutrients, uniform and early production, less space necessary to produce, better control of pathogens, saving of agrochemicals, many other comparative advantages.

Source
Martín Carrillo O. - Blueberries Consulting

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