Dan Burden, AgMRC Content Specialist
D. Allen Pattillo, Department of Natural Resources Ecology & Management,
Iowa State University; North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NRAC)
This closed-loop system has many advantages over conventional “open-loop” crop production systems:
- It uses approximately 10% of the land area and 5% of the water volume required by conventional vegetable crops.
- Due to less water and land use, aquaponics is perfect for highly efficient use of existing space or for special applications like intensive urban gardening.
- Crop production time can be accelerated. For example, butterhead lettuce varieties can be produced in about 30 days, instead of the typical 60-day growing period needed for conventional production.
- Production can occur year-round under a greenhouse or in a temperature-controlled enclosure. This allows producers to market fresh produce during seasons when trucked-in produce is at their highest seasonal prices.
- Aquaponics is an adaptable process that allows for a diversification of income streams. High-value herbs, vegetables, and leafy greens, as well as fish, crayfish, worms, mushrooms, and a number of other crops may be produced, depending upon local market interest and the interests of the grower.
- These systems allow agriculture to take large innovative steps toward environmental sustainability. Because these are mostly-closed-loop systems, nutrient effluent leaving the facility is virtually nonexistent. Additionally, fish, plant, and other waste solids may be captured and converted into value-added fertilizer products for wholesale or retail sale.
- Growers can start small, with minimal investment, perhaps using scrounged materials to see if the venture is “right for me,” then scale-up as markets and expertise develops.
Read our book, Commercial Aquaponics GOLD.
- This comprehensive information about commercial aquaponics provides you will all the facts you’ll need to make an informed business decision about commercial aquaponics growing in controlled environment agricultural (CEA).
- We’re also offering TWO FREE BONUSES with the purchase of Commercial Aquaponics GOLD: 1) A formal ten-step strategy business plan template designed specifically for commercial aquaponics growing to present to funders and, 2) PFAS LLC’s Executive Summary showing production and operating costs, profits and best-produce choices to achieve the shortest Return on Investment.