Hydroponic growers able to survive in drought conditions | Minnesota
ST. CLOUD, Minnesota (AP) – Drought conditions in Minnesota are having a significant impact on farmers, growers and other crop producers. But for hydroponic growers like Revol Greens in Medford, the lack of rain isn’t as much of a problem.
In a hydroponic system, plants like lettuce and herbs are grown without soil, and Revol’s vice president of sales and marketing, Brendon Krieg, said Revol operates a 10-acre greenhouse that uses a hybrid hydroponic system. (meaning they use land to grow crops). Because it’s a closed system, Krieg says they save a lot of water.
“We are growing with 90 to 95% less water than traditional field cultivation,” he said. “There is no waste in the hydroponic system, so all the water that we bring into the facility and used for growing the product is absorbed by the product itself. The only water that actually leaves our facilities is in the form of lettuce and the product we grow. “
Krieg says most of the water she uses for growing is rainwater and snowmelt collected on the greenhouse roof, and despite the drought, the company has not had need to tap water from his relief well this summer.
“(The drought) didn’t affect us much; this has obviously been a challenge for many growers and farmers across the state, ”Krieg said. “But, fortunately, we had a good supply of rain and snowmelt in our retention basins and our retention basins are still over 50% full. “