The world of agriculture is huge, with many different aspects and small distinctions. As a result, there are a lot of frequently asked farming questions!
Here at Pure Greens AZ, we get lots of questions through our blog and social media.
Because we get so many, we thought we’d answer a few here.
In this article, you’ll learn the answers to five frequently asked farming questions, from organic farming, to hydroponics, to business in general.
How is organic farming better for the environment than conventional farming?
Organic farming is better for the environment, than conventional farming, because it limits the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Conventional farming heavily relies on these toxic chemicals to grow crops.
But they often pollute our air, ground and water, posing a danger to both humans and animals.
Organic farming uses natural methods, like companion planting and compost, to control pests and promote growth.
These natural methods are better for the environment, because they don’t result in polluting the natural ecosystems near the farm.
Is organic no-till farming possible?
Organic no-till farming is completely possible, it’s just a little more difficult for large commercial farms.
Non-organic farms are able to control weeds with the use of herbicides.
Tilling is when the farmer rakes and mixes the soil, which destroys weeds. Organic farms can’t use herbicides, so they till the soil instead.
Unfortunately, tilling is harmful, because it destroys the natural soil structure of the land, which causes soil erosion.
In order to kill weeds and reduce the need for tilling, organic farmers plant cover crops.
Cover crops cover the ground, prevent new weeds from growing and live in harmony with regular crops.
What’s the difference in fertilizer and nutrient solution?
Fertilizer and nutrient solution are similar but have a few key differences.
Fertilizer is used with soil because soil is expected to already have some nutrients in it.
As a result, fertilizer doesn’t usually include micro-nutrients, like zinc.
On the other hand, the water used in hydroponics should be nutrient-less.
So, nutrient solutions need to have every essential nutrient inside, including micro-nutrients.
Additionally, nutrient solution is typically sold in a more pure form than fertilizer, making it easier to dissolve in water.
You can use nutrient solution to grow plants in soil, but it’s not recommended to use fertilizer to grow plants in hydroponics.
If you can overwater plants in soil, why don’t plants drown in hydroponics?
Overwatering causes the soil to become waterlogged, which limits the amount of oxygen available in the soil.
Plant roots need oxygen to survive, so when there isn’t enough oxygen in the soil, they drown.
In hydroponics, overwatering is avoided in several different ways, depending on the type of system.
In some systems, like deep water culture, the plant roots are constantly exposed to water.
To prevent drowning, the water is aerated, usually by using air stones to make bubbles, which put oxygen in the water.
In other systems, like Kratky, the water level is low enough, that the plants are able to grow roots specifically for absorbing oxygen.
These air roots are short and stick toward the top of the root mass, above the water level, so the plant is able to survive.
Is farming profitable?
Yes, farming can be profitable.
A farm is a business, and any business can fail or succeed.
Whether or not, your farm is profitable, depends on the size, location, product, skills, efficiency, market and quality of your farm. As well as economic factors that are out of your control.
To profit from a farm, you have to focus on profiting.
This might mean growing things that you’re not interested in, simply because that crop will bring the most capital.
If you have any more farming questions, make sure you check out our list of The 50 Most Frequently Asked Farming Questions!
If you’re interested in starting a farm, visit our website, or call 602-75-3469 for more information on getting started.